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2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, July 8, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Liner Notes: GRACEfulLEE People have asked me who I would like to play with if I could have my own dream band. I feel so fortunate to have recorded this CD because it is with the dream band of mine. Rufus Reid, Russell Malone, Matt Wilson and of course Lee Konitz have all been inspirations of mine on various Cds of their own and ones where they play with other giants in jazz. The most amazing thing for me while recording this CD with them was to hear my sound mixed with theirs. It s amazing to hear a recording with my playing mixed with the great Lee Konitz who has one of the most wonderfully distinctive and unique sounds on the alto saxophone. Everything seems so magical on this CD. The day of the session was extremely special. Originally I had asked Lee if he would record a couple of tracks with me for my next CD I was working on back in Boston. Lee and I wrote a song together a few weeks before the session by faxing our ideas back and forth to each other. The song is GracefulLee . Instead of Lee coming to Boston to just record a tune or two, I said we would come to New York and put a rhythm section together there to record the tunes. Once we entered the studio and started recording, the feeling among all of us was just magical. We just kept playing one tune after another, everything was one take and the way the music was formed was so organic and creative. By the time we were done, the couple of tunes we had intended to play turned into a whole CD of music itself. The day of the session really felt like a musical lesson from the masters to me. Hearing Lee, Russell, Rufus and Matt bring their individual special touch to the music was inspiring. I played in a way that I have never played before. All I tried to do was surround my self with the beautiful support I was getting from this all star rhythm section and Lee. I then reacted to what I was hearing and feeling. One of the most important lessons I have learned from Mr. Lee Konitz is to constantly be spontaneous while playing music. It sounds as if it is an easy thing to do, but it s surprising how hard it really is. Every time I listen to Lee s music, I am amazed how it always feels so fresh. When I listen to his many different versions of the same standard, it never bores me because each time it is like a new journey. Recording with Lee was really eye opening. It made me really try to simply listen and react. A few of the improvisations and/or duos we did were completely made up at the moment. This is really what makes the CD special to me. We captured each song in a way that will never come again. We played it, we recorded it and now it is yours to listen to. I hope you find as much excitement and joy in this CD GracefulLee as I do. ... Grace Kelly I have had the pleasure over these many musical years to play with different musicians around the world; and have been delighted at how responsive so many of these talented people have been to me, then giving me an opportunity to respond to them in return. This is what it is all about to me. I met Grace and her mom and papa when she was 13 years old and she gave me three of her CD s. She is now 15 and a fearless young improviser, and besides that she is fun to be around. Now I have a new friend in Grace who at this very young age is seriously interested in playing the saxophone and more. She has invited me to play a few tunes on her new CD but once we got into the studio there were many inspired moments and it turned out to be a whole Cd on its own. I gave her permission to play better than I, if she just couldn t stand it anymore. With this great rhythm section it was a pleasure to be a part of the musical process and experience. I thank Irene and Bob (her folks) for being so encouraging and supportive of this project and of Grace. Lee Konitz


Sweet Sixteen Grace at, 16, you re what mystics brand an old soul. I didn t think it was feasible for a teenager to play with such maturity and authority. When I received Gracefullee last month and saw you on the cover with your mentor alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, I was a bit skeptical. Who in their right mind would give a recording deal to a teenager I mused? Standing next to Konitz you looked so shy and out of place. I figured Konitz carried you through the session, and your sidemen guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Mat Wilson would handled you, pardon the pun, with kid gloves. Grace, I was dead wrong. On this nearly flawless offering you re in absolute control from start to finish. I should have known you re unarguably special because the great saxophonist Phil Woods raved about you. Plus, this year alone you received some impressive accolades: Best Jazz Act in Boston, ASCAP Foundation 2008 Young Jazz Composer Award, and 2008 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards just to list three. On the duets with Konitz I couldn t tell who was who because you both have identical melodic temperaments. You played the ballads You Don t Know What Love Is and There Is Not Greater Love with a puppy love sort of innocence and naivete. The duet with Malone on Just Friends and with Konitz on Alone Together are the most striking selections. You kidded around on Buzzing Around, having Konitz chase you through the chord changes. I bet he had to take breather afterward. On Call of The Spirits and NY At Noon, nifty free jazz based compositions you let loose your aggressive size. Gracefullee is your sophomore album, but it should be taken as your official coming out party. Posted by Charles L. Latimer --idigjazz blogspot

Grace Kelly and Lee Konitz Gracefullee (CD Baby) Contemplate for a moment where you were at 16 years of age and compare your confused and misguided adolescence to the trajectory 16-year old Grace Kelly has followed. No, not the dead movie star -- this Grace Kelly is rising reed player whose fourth album, Gracefullee, has just been released on the CDBaby label. Kelly has been garnering international acclaim since she was 13 as a rising alto saxophonist. She effortlessly delivers a wise-beyond-her-years technique that amazes her audiences. Now her latest bold move: She audaciously partners with sax legend (and mentor) Lee Konitz on Gracefullee. Konitz's name may not trigger the household recognition that other jazz icons command, but it should. His groundbreaking work reaches back to the 1940s, when he was a contemporary of fellow alto-God, Charlie Parker. But unlike most of the other reed-payers of the day, Konitz's airy style never got bogged down in the be-bop clichés that dominated pre-Ornette Coleman jazz. To this day Konitz has stayed true to his unique style, and here it blends beautifully with Kelly's rich sound as they glide through 10 cuts (both standards and improvised sessions) in a tight quintet setting. Every few years we get reminders that perhaps jazz isn't dead. This disc is the latest. JEFF HINKLE --Las Vegas City Life

GRACE KELLY-LEE KONITZ/Gracefullee: She has to be the Rachel Barton of jazz sax if she s 16 and they re calling her the next Bird. With a track record that reads with the child prodigy intensity of a Rachel Barton, Kelly fits the stereotype of the Asian overachiever by blowing up a storm with her mentor as well as leaving a resume in her wake most pros twice her age would be envious of. But it doesn t end there. Her crew on this date is Russ Malone, Rufus Reid and Matt Wilson, and she s not letting them coast or humor her. The set card pulls from all quadrants and everyone can be proud of this day s work. A tasty find and one of the times you genuinely want to be able to say you were the first on your block. Hot stuff throughout. 15 (Pazz) --Midwest Record
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 8, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pazz
  • ASIN: B001AO00AU
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

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The musicians are very good, some fresh harmonies and lively interaction. My opinion is low because I dont like dissonance. I dont like screechu saxophones. Never did. some of Parker and Coltrane ia great, the screechy stuff
Sets me to the MUTE button faster than a snake strike.
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