52 Jazz Tracks for 2021. 49. ‘Easy to Love’ – Lee Konitz and Red Mitchell, I Concentrate on You, 1974

The 49th of Jon Turney’s weekly selections sees a legend of cool inspired by Cole Porter.

The great altoist Lee Konitz knew everything, but did tend to restrict himself to a fairly limited set of favourite vehicles in his late career – striving to play them as if for the first time, as he always claimed. Here, though, he works through a planned session devoted entirely to Cole Porter.

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The repertoire brings out the best in both players. Konitz caresses each tune before launching his extemporisations. The whole lot are thoroughly hummable, and after a few listens it’s hard to resist singing along with the solos as well. Those floating lines; that dry tone; the nimble bass accompaniment from Red Mitchell; the brevity of each track – everything comes together in a session that falls into that delightful set of duo recordings where two people come together who might never have done so, and create something that sounds as if it needed to happen. The results are timeless, and endlessly satisfying.

Hear the track on Spotify

More on this recording on Jon’s Bristol Jazz Log

Read Jon’s introduction to the ’52 tracks’ series

Week 48. Slivadiv – Back Door

Spotify playlist for the series

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