14 thoughts on “Conscious-lee (for Lee Konitz)

    1. Thanks for commenting Ken- fantastic indeed. For me, the main advantage of living this close to NYC in the 70’s and 80’s was live jazz (including a memorable Konitz gig at CW Post). At the time, it seemed like these guys would be around forever.

      Those are great albums – do you still have those originals on vinyl?

      1. When I moved to Minnesota I gave all of my records to my brother, who had a very extensive record collection and appreciated jazz more than anyone I knew. I hated to give them up (movers charge by weight) but I knew they were going to a good home Probably worth a fortune now.

  1. Thanks for the tribute, John. He was a one-and-only and he lived a long life, so good for him. Though I didn’t get to concerts or gigs, jazz was a constant companion (on the radio) back in the late 60’s & 70’s in NYC and was a formative influence, though I can’t articulate quite how the music influenced me. The jazz of those days was the spirit of New York. Can you say a little about the image and how it connects to him for you?

    1. Thanks for asking me to articulate what I had in mind with this selection. Admittedly, I’ve been neglecting talking about my own work on here for years.

      This is a new image and was taken at the same place as my “Light on Empty Porches” image (the Mulvihill home which is located at the new Town of Southampton preserve).

      I hope my photograph conveys some degree of humor and irony, while at the same time conveying something a little more inscrutable. To me, those are qualities that can be readily found in Konitz’ playing. He wasn’t Charlie Parker, but he was arguably the first after him to take the alto sax in a truly new direction. In that sense, I thought it was fitting to devote this photograph to him: a small heroic figure in profile, and a figure moving in a forward direction.

      The title of my post is an allusion to the Konitz album “Subconscious-lee” which came out in 1949.

  2. Well said, John. Lee Konitz was so sui generis that even some of the best jazz critics of the time could not find the right words to describe him. This old writer and editor has tried, and failed, several times to find the words that could explain Lee to a new listener. His music required close listening and sometimes a leap of faith by the listener. Your photograph is quite similar in that regard.

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