Lee Konitz & Michel Petrucciani: I Hear a Rhapsody


I Hear a Rhapsody


Lee Konitz (alto sax) and Michel Petrucciani (piano)


Toot Sweet (Owl)

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Lee Konitz (alto sax), Michel Petrucciani (piano).

Composed by George Fragos, Jack Baker & Dick Gasparre


Recorded: Paris, France, May 25, 1982


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

The idea to bring Lee Konitz and Michel Petrucciani together for an entire duo album was an excellent one. French producer Jean-Jacques Pussiau had supervised some of Petrucciani's first records, and was fully aware of the young pianist's potential—though, at 20, he'd never played a duet with such a master as the altoist. Indeed, he sounds very respectful of Konitz's approach and, after a short intro, mostly plays the tune's chords as his partner states the melody, then choruses. But the piano's beautiful sound, and the way it follows the alto and develops parallel melodic lines while feeding the soloist strong bass notes as harmonic pillars, entices Konitz to express his most lyrical side. He never wanders far from the melody, and his sound is so close to that of the piano that you're hardly conscious of the transition between his solo and Petrucciani's. When the altoist restates the theme, the empathy between the two players becomes even more obvious, as is their choice to tackle this melody in the simplest way, without overly romantic effects to obstruct its genuine emotional power. With such inspired instrumentalists, music doesn't need to be loud and extroverted. Less is more.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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