Lee Konitz & John Scofield: Some Blues
Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Rhapsody II (Paddle Wheel)
Recorded: New York, August 3, 1993
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Some might think that John Scofield is as far from Lee Konitz as can be. Wrong! First, each has played with Miles Davis and with Gerry Mulligan, albeit at very different periods of these latter musicians' careers, and this undeniably creates a bond between them. The other link is their relationship to the blues: obvious and well documented in the guitarist's case, lesser known but still present for the altoist. And that's exactly what the two men explore here, for almost eight minutes: some blues, improvised on the spot by players who are as familiar with the idiom as they are with the art of dialogue. Four solo choruses (two apiece) alternate at the start to set the atmosphere.
Then the real exchange begins, more intense on Konitz's side and very casual on Scofield's. In fact, all through the tune, John stays essentially in the rhythmic field, almost never resorting to his usual distortion effects and "dirty sound" tricks. It seems as if Scofield had less to prove than Konitz, and wanted to let him display his blues chops. Indeed, anyone who may have had doubts about the latter's ability to play with a blues/rock-oriented guitarist and to tackle the blues changes in a convincing way should be satisfied with the altoist's inspired performance over Scofield's efficient, supportive strumming. "Some Blues" really is some blues!
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum