Concert Review: Lee Konitz with The Brian Dickinson Trio, Feb 11, Glenn Gould Studio

Toronto – I’m generally not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but this year, inspired after reading Alex Ross’ Listen to This, I decided that I would take it upon myself to expand my musical horizons somewhat, digging a bit deeper into genres such as classical and jazz.  So when the opportunity arose to check out Lee Konitz in a concert presented by The Jazz Performance and Education Centre (JPEC), I gladly took it.  Konitz is a jazz legend.  He’s been playing since the ’40s and has collaborated with many of the greats of the genre, most famously on Miles Davis’ Birth Of The Cool

Konitz was backed up on this occasion by the talented Brian Dickinson Trio.  the interplay between the musicians was pretty impressive.  Drummer Barry Romberg was especially entertaining to watch, but each player had their moments.  In fact, on the second song, Konitz left the stage and the trio did a number on their own. 

Konitz is an interesting performer to watch.  Casually dressed and wearing sunglasses, he didn’t say too much, but addressed the crowd on a few occasions.  He told stories about his songs, such as “Thingin,” a tune based on “All The things You Are,” which he described as “thievery in good spirit.”  “I put a little melody on top of it.  I didn’t tell Jerome Kern I was going to do that.”  He further demonstrated his sense of humour by referring to the trio as “my colleagues … they know their names,” before holding his hand up to his mouth as if to let the audience in on the secret that he forgot their names.  If he did in fact forget their names, that’s probably forgivable, as they did form a bond as performers that night, improvising through various numbers.  Konitz even included the audience in on the act, inviting everyone to sing a note along with the band during one number.  I guess everyone at the Glenn Gould Studio that night can now add their names to the long list of Lee Konitz’s collaborators.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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