Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian: Live at Birdland

Album review
Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian: Live at Birdland

Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian

Live at Birdland

Label: ECM
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

That a jazz quartet with only one member under the age of 70 can sound thoroughly modern says a lot about the ageless creativity of its members: Eighty-three- year-old alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, who played on Miles Davis’s 1949 Birth of the Cool; drummer Paul Motian, 79, who refined modern jazz drumming in groups led by pianists Bill Evans, Paul Bley, and Keith Jarrett; 73-year-young Charlie Haden, who ran his elegantly dynamic bass lines through Ornette Coleman’s free jazz and Keith Jarrett’s free improvs; and the “kid” at 40, pianist Brad Mehldau, who’s played with Charles Lloyd and Pat Metheny and recorded music by Nick Drake and Soundgarden. Captured in warm, intimate, finely etched sonics, this live recording offers one absorbing improvisation after another on six standards nudged into post-bop regeneration. It all goes together with seamless ease: Konitz’s long, lyrical, Lennie Tristano-influenced melodies, Motian’s feather-touch expansions of space and time, Haden’s resonantly singing meditations, and Mehldau’s supportive harmonic frameworks. Each solo emerges organically from decades of jazz history and the immediate context, spirals into uncharted territory, and sets the stage for the next modest leap forward. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Lee Konitz
  • primary artist, Brad Mehldau
  • primary artist, Charlie Haden
  • primary artist, Paul Motian
  • CD

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