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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 April 2013
I bought this as I'd heard Konitz's work with Gerry Mulligan, and admired his crystal-clear tone, and his beautiful way with a phrase. Happily, it turned out to be a very wise move. Most of the cds here run close to the 70 minute mark, so you currently get lots of fine, cool jazz for only £5 (Amazon prices appear quite volatile, so well worth grabbing while it's around this real bargain price).

The period runs from '54-'61, and gives a fascinating insight into Konitz's work over this period; though he remains a master of 'cool' jazz, his later work does reflect some 'bop' influences. The recording/sound quality also varies considerably. His first album in this collection has a rather muddy sound, with Ronnie Ball's piano and Jeff Morton's drums well back in the mix, though the predominance of Peter Ind's bass and Konitz's alto sax is a delicious duet (I began to smile within the first few chords of the opener 'Easy Livin'). Ironically, the live set at Storyville has a better balanced sound, and the various announcements by John McLelland, the MC, is a fascinating nugget of the bands playing there at the time.

Konitz duets properly with Warne Marsh on the next album (introducing Billy Bauer on guitar for the first time), with 'Donna Lee' one of the outstanding tracks. Inside Hi-Fi sees Konitz begin to replace piano with guitar, and this accentuates the beauty of his tone, a move completed on 'Tranquillity', where guitar is the 'colour' instrument in the quartet. This gives the album a gossamer lightness which underpins the sheer beauty of the restrained melodic lines here. Simply lovely.

This fine collection ends with the impressive 'Very Cool', with the gorgeous opener 'Sunflower' reflecting the very high standard to be found throughout this album. The set concludes with 'Motion' from 1961, an album rated as 'essential' by both the Gramophone and Penguin Jazz Guides. By this time Konitz has left the short track lengths of his first album, and is stretching out to 8-10 minutes at a time. If you enjoy cool jazz, and a beautifully restrained approach with a crystal tone which shimmers and sparkles, this bargain collection is one to go for.
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Seven Classic Albums , 53 Tracks on a four CD set and for the price of just 1 CD makes this a real bargain.

The digitally enhanced sound is a good indicator of quality but, for a proper review, I really suggest you read other, more knowledgeable person's review.
The collection is on 4 CDs encased in a double wide jewel case. .
BUT when recommended this set by Amazon I found that there was no indication of which classic albums were included nor the track listing.
The Seven Classic Albums are
"Konitz (1954)",
"Jazz At Storyville (1954)",
"Lee Konitz With Wayne Marsh (1954)",
"Inside Hi-Fi (1956)",# "Tranquility (1957)",
"Very Col (1958)" and
"Motion (1961)".

Track List:
[Disc 1]
1. Easy Livin'
2. Nursery Rhyme
3. Limehouse Blues
4. I'll Remember April
5. Skylark
6. Mean To Me
7. 317 East 32nd
8. Bop Goes The Leesel
Jazz At Storyville
9. Introduction By John McLelland
10. Hi Beck
11. If I Had You
12. Sunconscious Lee
13. Sound Lee
14. Foolin' Myself
15. Introduction By John McLelland
16. Ablution
17. These Foolish Things
18. End Announcement By John McLelland

[Disc 2]
Lee Konitz With Wayne Marsh
1. Topsy
2. There Will Never Be Another You
3. I Can't Get Started
4. Donna Lee
5. Two Not One
6. Don't Squawk
7. Ronnie's Line
8. Background Music
Inside Hi-Fi
9. Kary's Trance
10. Everything Happens To Me
11. Sweet And Lovely
12. Cork 'n' Bib
13. All Of Me
14. Star Eyes

[Disc 3]
Inside Hi-Fi (Cont.)
1. Nesuhi's Instant
2. Indiana
3. Stephanie
4. Memories Of You
5. People Will Say We're In Love
6. When You're Smiling
7. Sunday
8. Lennie Bird
9. The Nearness Of You
10. Jonquil
Very Cool
11. Sunflower
12. Stairway To The Stars
13. Movin' Around

[Disc 4]
Very Cool (Cont.)
1. Kary's Trance
2. Crazy She Calls Me
3. Billie's Bounce
4. I Remember You
5. All Of Me
6. Foolin' Myself
7. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
8. I'll Remember April
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on 28 March 2013
Only heard the odd Konitz track before now but quite a fan now. Close to one of my other favourites, Art Pepper with a similar gentle tone. Not one for hard core bepop fans
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on 29 May 2014
this is great value for the money, lots of Konitz & Marsh in there, a must have.ok ok ok. pete the leg
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on 26 June 2013
Classic jazz tracks from the 50s. Sound quality from adequate to good,Lee Konitz represents the best of the cool sound, lyrical and flowing.
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Really enjoyed
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on 22 March 2013
interesting, but does not reach the imaginative or experimental heights of sessions with lennie tristano, george russell, bill evans, etc
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