Album: Lee Konitz, New Quartet (Enja)

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The Independent Culture

At an age when most of us would be happy if we could still get a spoon in our mouths, 82-year-old saxophonist Konitz took his young band into New York's Village Vanguard.

He's always had an idiosyncratic, unerringly modern sound, but the smeared notes and daring elisions of the opener, "Cherokee", are absolutely astonishing. A couple of ballads leave his fragility more exposed, but they're not without charm, too. Also released tomorrow is Konitz's Complete 1956 Quartets, three LPs on two CDs and a total standing ovation.