Lee Konitz & Dan Tepfer | Constellation | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Lee Konitz & Dan Tepfer 

When: Fri., Feb. 20, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $25, $20 in advance
One of the greatest improvisers in the history of jazz, saxophonist Lee Konitz, 87, has developed a strong band with pianist Dan Tepfer, 33, despite their 54-year separation in age. Over the last five years or so, they’ve performed and recorded in numerous contexts, locating a collaborative sweet spot. Konitz remains an exponent of pianist Lennie Tristano’s brainy, elegant strain of bebop, and Tepfer is quite fluent in classical music—one of my favorite recordings in recent years is his version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which is followed by his own heavily improvised variations on them. But their 2009 album together, Duos With Lee (Sunnyside), features fluid, low-key improvisations in which the pianist expertly responds to and anticipates the fleet, rhythmically seductive, and harmonically inventive lines of his partner as if they’ve worked together for decades. Last year’s First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1 (Whirlwind), features the pair working in a brisk quartet on material that includes a new suite Tepfer composed for Konitz. Tonight they return to an intimate duo setting, where they’ll likely alternate between pure improvisation—albeit couched in the language of bebop—and standards Konitz reinvents no matter how many times he plays them. —Peter Margasak
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