The various, independently-acting tentacles of NPR have noticed lately that this Lee Konitz guy is still really good at playing saxophone. Yesterday on All Things Considered, Tom Vitale gave us a brief profile, including this choice quotation: "That's kind of my goal: to not repeat what I did that felt nice the night before or whatever, just to try to build a new row of meaningful tones." And last week, Kevin Whitehead pointed out on Fresh Air that Konitz, at 82, has a bevy of new releases out this year alone: the Live at the Village Vanguard set with the young trio Minsarah; a solo DVD from the Solos: The Jazz Sessions series (video trailer is above); and Jugendstil II, a freely-improvised set with Stephane Furic Leibovici and Chris Cheek.
We might also point out that NPR Music and WBGO recorded Konitz with pianist Dan Tepfer and drummer Matt Wilson at the Village Vanguard this January. You can download that set, and, if you're a glutton for punishment, read my thoughts on Lee Konitz and "late style." The man is 82, and still pushing himself to do something new every night, with such immense faith in the power of spontaneous creation. He is kind of my hero.
*You know, "Subconscious-Lee," "Sound-Lee," "Ice Cream Konitz," etc.