Jon Christensen Lee Konitz Leo Wright Phil Woods Pony Poindexter Steve Kuhn
Hard Bop
Release Date

Alto Summit features four post Charlie Parker saxophone greats. Lee Konitz has been a major force in bop, cool jazz, and the Avant-garde. Pony Poindexter’s play has a more bluesy feel; he recorded with everyone from Parker to Lambert Hendricks and Ross. Named top alto saxophonist in some 30 Downbeat polls Phil Woods, was best known for his own bands, whose recordings won four Grammys, while Leo Wright is known for his work with Dizzy Gillespie, and the likes of Nat Adderley and Kenny Drew. The four are backed by an ace rhythm section including pianist Steve Kuhn, of John Coltrane fame. On the bluesy Native Land, Wright shouts out the theme. Solo order is Lee, Phil, Pony, and then Lee. There’s lots of soul on the medley of classic ballads, as Leo takes on the first piece, then Pony, Phil, and last, Lee; it ends in a stunning group improv. With its modernist theme, Prompt is a showstopper, with Leo, Pony, Lee, and then Phil upstaging each other. The Perils of Poda strikes out with a piano solo before Phil, Lee, Pony, and then Leo take over. Pony’s funky Good Booty features Pony and Phil, while Lee-o’s Blues has Leo and Lee taking a leisurely walk on the soulful side. Lee’s Tribute to Bach and Bird combines a Bach chorale cantata with a Charlie Parker solo and features both duo and collective alto play. Four alto masters combine their distinctive styles in a jazz tour de force.

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