Lee Konitz & Clark Terry: Flyin' - Mumbles and Jumbles
Flyin' - Mumbles and Jumbles
Lee Konitz (soprano sax)
Rhapsody (Paddle Wheel)
Composed by Lee Konitz & Clark Terry.
Recorded: New York, July 7, 1993
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
At first listen, few would think that these two instrumentalists were venerable, seasoned musicians (Terry, 73 at the time, and Konitz, then 66) who'd been respectively members of the Ellington and Kenton bands. Right from the start, their playing is so free as far as melody, rhythm and tempo are concerned that you might even think of some "angry young men," as they were called in the early '60s. But listen closer: the blues is there, not far behind the apparently shapeless lines, and follow a rather clear question-&-answer pattern. The powerful, assertive sound, along with articulate phrasing, also tells you that these musicians have huge chops and know what they're talking about. Indeed, it takes a lot of self-confidence to indulge in such playfully informal blowing.
Yet who would recognize Lee Konitz on soprano sax (so far from his allegedly "cool" style on the alto) and Clark Terry (even though his lively fluegelhorn has actually often strayed from classic patterns)? And even if one could expect the latter to end this tune with his typical scatting and mumbling, who'd have thought that the usually introverted Konitz would sing along with his wild elder? These two definitely sound like old uninhibited kids who couldn't resist playing a good trick on listeners who think they know all about them. The fun that was theirs is amply shared by us, and the surprise makes it even more pleasurable.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum