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Gracefullee

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cool jazz, organic and in the moment. A magical collaboration between the master and the prodigy. With the tremendous proliferation of jazz education in the past 50 years, we're used to seeing talented and precocious youngsters in the music. But education alone doesn't account for a rare talent like Grace Kelly. She's accomplished far beyond her 16 years, as an alto saxophonist, songwriter, arranger, jazz composer and singer. Kelly has performed in such far-flung venues as Scullers in Cambridge, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, the Telluride Jazz Festival in Colorado, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, the Nordlysfestivalen in Tromso, Norway and the Sejong Cultural Center in South Korea. Grace has shown tremendous aptitude for playing jazz but perhaps more importantly, she's shown just as much capacity for learning and growth. Alto saxophone legend Lee Konitz, her mentor and frontline partner on GRACEfulLEE, declares her "absolutely egoless. She's interested in just playing; she's not trying to impress anybody. That's very important." The Kelly-Konitz collaboration on GRACEfulLEE came about almost by accident. "I originally wanted him to record a couple of tracks for another album," Grace offers. "It was his idea to set up a session in New York. We wanted another voice so we settled on guitarist Russell Malone. I met Rufus Reid at Birdland and sat in with him. His sound is so gorgeous; he was our first choice for a bass player. And Matt Wilson is one of my favorite drummers. Everything he does is so musical." 1 Subconcious Lee2 Just Friends3 Gracefullee4 There Is No Greater Love5 You Don't Know What Love Is6 Alone Together7 Buzzing Around8 Thingin'9 Call of the Spirits10 Ny At Noon

Review

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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,449 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
I couldn't let a two star review be the only assessment of this performance.
The reviewer has, of course, the prerogative to his opinion. But, I feel he has unfairly characterized this CD, by down-rating it, due to his dislike of "dissonance" and "screechy saxophones." That's not a critique, it's a bias.
This is, in my opinion (and that of Down Beat Magazine, which called it one of the "Best of the 2000s," yeah, the whole decade), a wonderful collaboration by jazz master Lee Konitz, and future jazz master, Grace Kelly. At the time of the recording, he was 81, and she was 16. Listening to these tracks, you would swear these were two long-time colleagues, in perfect synch with their musical ideas. And, that you were privileged to sit, at a small table, in a venerable, atmospheric jazz club, sipping your cocktail, taking it all in.
The jazz standards, "There Is No Greater Love," and "You Don't Know What Love Is," are incredible performances, mellow and nuanced, with strong supporting solo work from Russell Malone on guitar, and Rufus Reid on bass.
The inventive, intricate, personal, yet symbiotic work on "Alone Together" by the saxophonists, is simply a joy to experience.
I urge you to make this outstanding recording a part of your collection.
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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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