(born October 13, 1927) is an American jazz composer
and alto saxophonist
born in Chicago, Illinois
Generally considered one of the driving forces of Cool Jazz, Konitz has also performed successfully in bebop and avant-garde settings. Konitz was one of the few altoists to retain a distinctive sound in the 40s, when Charlie Parker exercised a tremendous influence on other players.
Konitz, like other students of pianist and theoretician Lennie Tristano
, was noted for improvising long, melodic lines with the rhythmic interest coming from odd accents, or odd note groupings suggestive of the imposition of one time signature over another. Paul Desmond
and, especially, Art Pepper
were strongly influenced by Konitz.
Konitz's association with the Cool Jazz
movement of the 1940s and 50s, includes participation in Miles Davis
' epochal Birth of the Cool
sessions, and his work with Lennie Tristano came from the same period. During his long career, Konitz has played with musicians from a wide variety of jazz styles.
Life and career
Konitz was born in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois
. At age eight Konitz received his first instrument—a clarinet
—but later dropped the instrument in favor of the tenor saxophone
Konitz eventually moved from tenor to alto. His greatest influences at the time were the swing big bands
he and his brother listened to on the radio
, in particular Benny Goodman
. Hearing Goodman on the radio is actually what prodded him to ask for a clarinet. On the saxophone... Read More