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Live At Birdland

Pierre DorgeAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $16.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM Records
  • ASIN: B0050PLTH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,207 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Loverman
2. Lullaby Of Birdland
3. Solar
4. I Fall In Love Too Easily
5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6. Oleo

Editorial Reviews


"This week," reported the New York Times in December 2009, "Birdland has booked an ad hoc quartet with three eminences and a great younger player. (...) It's going to be a week of soft anarchy, a gig without preparation or rehearsal, despite the presence of recording microphones for a couple of evenings. The jazz musician's trust in the present moment is elevated nearly to worship among this group's elders, all of whom, one way or another, were in on the early stages of loosening up rhythm and structure in jazz." -- New York Times

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular new quartet June 11, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Listening to this stunning new quartet album led perhaps nominally by Lee Konitz on alto saxophone but with pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian participating really as equals, I can't help thinking about the earlier Lee Konitz classic album "Motion". That album, recorded with Sonny Dallas on bass and Elvin Jones on drums is often cited as Konitz's masterpiece, and not without reason, but I think the brilliance of 'Motion' was a product of a palpable tension within the band. There were Lee Konitz and Sonny Dallas, students of Lennie Tristano, playing straight and fluent, always on top of the beat, with a sometimes bewildered Elvin Jones, fighting Dallas to keep the feel of time loose. Now, some fifty years later, Lee has come to embrace that loosely swinging feel even more and everyone is on the same page. The result is a truly exciting album.

Instead of having a straight eighth anchor to the band, like Dallas was on 'Motion', the rhythm section is made up of loose-time titans Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. The opening of 'Oleo', which begins with just sax and drums, is almost free-time, it hangs together so loosely, but Haden and Motian really swing and they imbue everything they play with an artistry and feel that can hardly be articulated. Joining the band is young virtuoso Brad Mehldau, playing in the most traditional vein I've heard from him in a long time. While his most recent solo work has been filled throughout with rock and polyrhythmic modern classical influences (just look at his most recent solo work for a stunning example of this musical fusion), here Mehldau fully embraces the aesthetic of the rest of the band but loses none of his distinctive edge.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop playing it June 10, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Got this last night and played it three times (yeah, 3 1/2 hours). Phenomenal music written by geniuses like Miles, Sonny Rollins and Shearing and performed live by four of our greatest living jazz musicians!

Every five minutes the excitement changes. Oh, to have been there in person.

Recording quality is excellent and captures the emotion of the audience without interfering with the quality of the music.

Album of the year - hands down!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This bear of an album features four jazz lions, captured live in two nights at Birdland in December of 2009. Alto saxophonist extraordinaire Konitz was eighty-two at the time, drummer Motian and bassist Haden weren't that far behind him at seventy-eight and seventy-two respectively. Mehldau seems a mere babe by comparison at thirty-nine but had been captivating jazz audiences with his creative piano work for twenty years.

The recording catches these four masters improvising on a set of standards, both pop and jazz. The reward to the listener isn't the chance to in hear new compositions but to hear these four masters play impassioned, often lyrical, solos, extending themselves at length. The musicians all have time to stretch out. (The shortest piece runs ten minutes seventeen seconds and the longest fifteen minutes and twenty seconds.) There is a phenomenal rendition of "Lover Man," a kinky and fun "Lullaby of Birdland," Miles Davis's "Solar" and Sony Rollin's "Oleo," the pop standards "I Fall in Love Too Easily" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

It is evident that these four musicians enjoyed playing together. All four play well. But Konitz, he is best of all. The man plays as fluently and more passionately as he did fifty years ago. (If ever the label `cool' applied to him, it hasn't for the last thirty or forty years.) How does he keep so young? Playing out of the bop/postbop mode he imbibed half a century ago playing with Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh and the Kenton band, he continues to surprise with his energy and his unbelievable inventiveness.

This is not to insult the other players. They are giants in their own accord. Haden's deep woody sound and melodic playing masks a keen knowledge of the rhythmic and melodic displacements required of modernist jazz.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious bebop guitar and sax January 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This album was my introduction to Jimmy Bruno, and to me it ranks with "Like That" as his best album. Playing jazz guitar at this level is an amazing feat in it's own right, but doing it "live" puts Bruno in a class by himself. And when he is joined by the great Bobby Watson (to many, the new "Bird"), things really move into the stratosphere. Fasten your seatbelts, before you check out their reading of Charlie Parker's "Anthropology".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen and Appreciate Greatness January 9, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Recorded at Birdland during December 2009, this live set consists of six compositions totaling 71 minutes. The play list mixes four American standards with two American jazz standards, specifically Miles Davis' "Solar" and Sonny Rollins' "Oleo". The project was flawlessly produced by ECM records founder Manfred Eicher.

The musicians, Haden, Motian, Konitz and Mehidau. are nothing short of legendary. Their combined time of composing, performing and recording, reaches an incredible 197 years. All these individuals are highly gifted and well established solo artists.

The set kicks off with "Lover Man" and the band immediately establishes its musical chemistry. It's astonishing how these artists, all used to leadership roles, blend so seamlessly in to a profound collaborative effort.
Next up is George Shearings' classic" Lullaby of Birdland". The band defines this tune as the gold standard for the entire set. Mehidau offers a marvelous piano introduction which seques into a Lee Koniitz sax lead. Haden and Motion provide a rhythm perfect framework for Mehidau and Konitz to lift off and soar through this number.

The musicians stretch out and take on a more challenging musical journey with the Miles Davis' composition "Solar". These artists never underestimate the musical appreciation of the audience. Always challenging them to ponder and intellectually process a deconstruction of this jazz classic. The level of success simply resides within the ears, heart and soul of the listener.

The quartet now tackles Styne and Cahn's" I Fall in Love to Easily" and Gus Kahn's classic, "You Stepped Out of a Dream". The two numbers are a somewhat study in contrasts. "I Fall in love ..." demonstrates all the right musical ingredients, i.e.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 29 days ago by John J. Costello Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful playing
In fact, one of my best jazz cd. I`m not a big fan of Brad nor Paul nor Lee, but as a whole they gave a magical performace that night. Read more
Published 4 months ago by andrzejmakal
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Although I'm a big Lee Konitz fan, this CD is a disappointment. Lee sounds physically tired and lacks his usual level of inspiration. Read more
Published 16 months ago by mike neely
1.0 out of 5 stars Tentative, aimless noodling by jazz masters
I have tried very hard to enjoy this CD. I know I'm "supposed to" enjoy it, because everyone is a jazz master, and supposedly are creating intuitive, creative music. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dean Robb
4.0 out of 5 stars lovely but mellow gem from jazz masters
Three of the living legends of "modern" jazz (bop),and one more on his way, recording live at the club once called "The center of the jazz world". Read more
Published on February 24, 2012 by Mark Schlesinger
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great album!
A word to the naysayers who don't appreciate the originality and interplay on this album. Lee Konitz always completely integrated with his fellows. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by vanguy
3.0 out of 5 stars overrated
I agree with Mr hackett's review--i was expecting a monster display of intuitive
virtuosity... the results...really not so much. Read more
Published on October 18, 2011 by Near-Life Experience
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disappointment
This album was a huge disappointment to me. First of all I should point out that I am 77 years old, and have been listening to, and enjoying, jazz since I was in high school. Read more
Published on July 2, 2011 by Richard J. Hackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Samples not the same as downloads
My guess is that the samples of songs are not at the same bit rate and quality of the actual downloads. Read more
Published on June 7, 2011 by Robert Middleton
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