History, Music

Remembering Lee Konitz (1927-2020)

Hello again, this is Peter the audio-video materials librarian. Jazz, in all of its various styles, is one of the many music genres to which I enjoy listening. Lee Konitz, one of the oldest, still active, American jazz musicians who performed into his nineties, passed away of coronavirus complications on April 15 at age 92. Over his long career, he was a prolific and idiosyncratic saxophone soloist who was one of the earliest and most admired exponents of the style that came to be known as “cool jazz.”

Heavily influenced by the expanded harmonic vocabulary of Charlie Parker, Konitz eventually developed a very different style and technique from his older friend; playing in a higher register with almost no vibrato and taking an understated approach to solos. My personal favorite Konitz recordings are those he made early in his career with a nine-piece band led by trumpeter Miles Davis , which adapt a cool jazz sound to a bebop context, the results of which are as fascinating as one might expect. However, I find that any of Konitz’s recordings over his 70 plus year career are enjoyable, rewarding and accessible, with no loss of quality in his later years.

The Lindenhurst Memorial Library is proud to present a comprehensive and excellent offering of every music genre, including all forms of jazz, via the digital service Hoopla, which can be easily accessed on the home page of our website. Downloads are immediate with no waiting time, and are automatically returned after seven days. The following link will bring you directly to the many recordings available from Hoopla on which Lee Konitz appears. Please give his music a listen, and enjoy!


To sign up for a Hoopla account through the Library, you will need to enter the email and password connected to your library card, select your home library of Lindenhurst from a drop-down list, and enter your library card barcode. Click here for your library account. If your card has expired, you may click here for a temporary Library card while the Library is closed. For any other issues that arise, please email the Library at info@lindenhurstlibrary.org for help.

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