The veteran saxophonist is featured in laidback sessions with the Metropole Orchestra. The material is choice: a poigniant version of "It Never Entered My Mind," a percolating take of "Invitation," in addition to tasty arrangements of the leader's own "Round and Round and Round" and "Subconscious Lee." While the presence of strings and brass may cause some folks to shy away, any Konitz fan worth his salt realizes that this dependable veteran nevers disappoints.
- Ken Dryden (All Music Guide)
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Lee Konitz: Saxophone Dreams
Saxophonist Lee Konitz is anything but a showman. He's common, cool, collected, devoted and above all a great musician. He never got along with the razzmatazz that artists sometimes seem to need around them (nor with drugs or alcohol). He never pushed himself into the fore; maybe he's too straight for this music business, in which people get attracted by too many different things but music.
Lee Konitz belongs to the Kings of Jazz. From the time he sat in with Claude Thorn-hill Band he has been an inspiring musician keeping to his own style where all the others started to copy Charlie Parker. He was one of the spokesmen of the Great Len-nie Tristano, but again he wasn't the adept who just played Tristano-pieces.
Being oneself is the only real trademark of a great musician. A lot of musicians give Lee the credits he deserves. Two of them are Rob Pronk and Lex Jasper, both arrangers for this album, creating a lovely dreamlike music, as if it were written exclusively for Mister Konitz' horn.
As so many fellow musicians, Lee Konitz dreamed of making a recording with strings. In this album he doesn't just get a full symphony string ensemble, but an extended big band as well. It's the unique Metropole Orchestra, originally a studio band for Dutch Radio, but in the recent years working on all sort of occasions -among many: recording music for the Oscar Award winning movie "Antonia's Line", sharing the stage with famous pop stars, performing an open air concert at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens etc. In 1997 the Metropole Orchestra celebrated its 50th anniversary. This CD-series is as much a monument of the orchestra as it is for the marvellous soloists who got the chance to play with it.
The Netherlands Metropole Orchestra
For more than half a century the Metropole Orchestra has been a name to conjure with in the field of Light Music.
At the time of their first radio broadcast, which took place on 25 November 1945, the orchestra numbered only 17 musicians. They had been brought together by Dolf van der Linden, who was to be their Chief Conductor for the next three and a half decades. He and his successors, Rogier van Otterloo and then Dick Bakker, built the Metropole Orchestra into what it is today: a group of 61 musicians who are simply without equal anywhere in the world. The Metropole Orchestra is part of the Music Centre of the Netherlands Radio and Television. They work on commission from the Dutch public broadcasting networks, making radio and television programmes both at home and abroad. Regular highlights of their annual season are live appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival, radio jazz series etc.
The orchestra is proud of the many successful collaborations it has enjoyed with a huge range of international artists and guest conductors.