Lee Konitz & Grace Kelly: Alone Together
GRACEfulLEE (Pazz 15-8)
Composed by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz.
Recorded: Brooklyn, no date given (CD released in 2008)
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
Few saxophonists are more adept at horn counterpoint than Lee Konitz. I cherish the classic recordings of Konitz crossing saxes with Warne Marsh with the dash and verve with which action-movie stars cross swords. It was almost a new genre: cool jazz swashbuckling. Shiver me timbers, those were the days! But venerable duelists need to defend their territory when each new combatant comes to town. In this instance, the new face is teenager Grace Kelly, one of the most touted young saxophonists in jazz. She matches Konitz line for line in this unaccompanied duet. But there is more "alone" than "together" in this version of "Alone Together," and more respectful horn conversation than parry and thrust. The two altoists wait until the final 30 seconds of the track before matching wits in counterpoint. The moment is potent, but all too brief. I demand a rematch.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia