This fine SteepleChase recording was made on August 15th, 1974. It is Lee Konitz playing two songs by himself. The songs are an almost 40 minute version of The Song Is You (which was release in an edited version on the original LP) and a 17 plus minute version of Cherokee.
I pulled it out recently because I had read that it had had an influence on Braxton's solo recordings of the seventies. I had forgotten just how unusual this recording is.
It doesn't sound like any of Braxton's solo work that I know of, nor that of Urs Leimgruber nor Roscoe Mitchell nor anyone else that I know of who plays solo saxophone these days. The closest relative to these recordings I can think of is some of the solo recordings that Sonny Rollins has done over the years.
Konitz is a melodicist of infinite variety with beautiful tone. I always expect on a record like this to get bored by the end of a song but even on The Song Is You this never happens. Konitz just unfolds melodic variation after variation with an ease that makes it all sound logical.
The effect is similar to when I read a novelist who introduces a plot twist that I did not see coming but which makes perfect sense. If you are already a Konitz fan or a fan of the solo saxophone than this recording should be part of your collection.
One last note- Konitz's sound on this recording does somehow convey lonliness. It has a beautiful keening quality that fits the format and material beautifully. Overall, a very well conceived and realized project.