Originally from Chicago, Lee Konitz began his musical life studying the clarinet and later moved to alto saxophone. Soon after playing with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra, he began his very influential study with Lennie Tristano, who expedited Lee's already quickly developing unique improvisational style. In 1948, Konitz was involved with Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool sessions. After touring with Stan Kenton in the fifties, he embarked on a prolific solo career, leading his own ensembles.
Lee Konitz continues to maintain his role as a true icon and legend of innovation within the Jazz community despite his already established and laudable involvement in the genre spanning six decades and producing over 50 records to date.
On his Chesky Records debut entitled Parallels, Lee proves once again his unique improvisational ability by infusing his alto saxophone lines into the solid framework constructed by his quintet featuring Bill Goodwin on drums, Peter Bernstein on guitar, Steve Gilmore on bass and special guest Mark Turner on tenor saxophone.
Parallels, a collection of Lee's interpretations of standard Jazz cuts and original compositions as fresh as his groundbreaking work in the 50's and 60's stands as clear evidence of his desire to examine the organic nature of Jazz and all of the opportunities to present spontaneous creativity and artistry to the listener. Lee Konitz has always been an artist who has defined his own terms of playing, even when surrounded by influences that seemed to sway the masses within the Jazz community, and his ability to define himself and a style is in full force on this, a strong representation of West Coast-influenced straight ahead and cool Jazz.