Lee Konitz & Marshall Brown: Struttin' With Some Barbecue
Struttin' With Some Barbecue
Lee Konitz (alto sax, baritone sax)
The Lee Konitz Duets (OJC 466)
Composed by Lil Hardin Armstrong.
Recorded: New York, September 25, 1967
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
On a single day in September 1967, Lee Konitz recorded an entire LP of duets with some of his favorite musicians. Some of his partners had recorded with him before (Jim Hall, Dick Katz, Elvin Jones), but most were new, including Marshall Brown, a pioneering jazz educator best known for leading the Newport Jazz Festival’s Youth Band. Brown’s meager discography was almost entirely devoted to traditional jazz, so it is no surprise that the Konitz/Brown duet is on a Louis Armstrong classic, “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue”. While there is no rhythm section present, Brown makes up for its absence by playing a jaunty bass line under Konitz’ acidic alto solo. Brown gets the spotlight in the second chorus although Konitz just leaves more space in his playing instead of attempting to play a bass part. Then, through the use of overdubbing, Konitz on baritone sax and Brown on euphonium play a stop-time background to an alto sax/valve trombone reading of Louis Armstrong’s classic solo from the original recording of 40 years earlier. The arrangement is simply delightful, but Konitz’ over-riding seriousness makes this much less fun than it ought to have been.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe