This excellent recording features altoist Lee Konitz with two separate quartets during 1956. Either guitarist Billy Bauer or pianist Sal Mosca are the main supporting voices in groups also including either Arnold Fishkind or Peter Ind on bass and Dick Scott on drums. The most unusual aspect to the set is that on the four selections with Mosca, Konitz switches to tenor, playing quite effectively in a recognizable cool style. The overall highlights of this enjoyable album are “Everything Happens to Me,” “All of Me,” and “Star Eyes,” but all eight performances are well played and swinging. Scott Yannow/AMG
The introduction of Konitz’s tenor during this period is emblematic of this. His premiere tenor recordings on ’56’s Lee Konitz Inside Hi-Fi document how Konitz first translated the refinements of his alto conception to the larger horn, even on would-be barn burners as “Indiana” (which also features an excellent solo by pianist Sal Mosca), and began to apply the tenor’s capacity for broader, bolder strokes to such fine alto performances as the bluesy “Cork ‘N’ Bib.” The contrasts between Konitz’s alto and tenor are well-represented on “Kary’s Trance,” which includes choruses on both horns; the track is also one of guitarist Billy Bauer’s finest.
A recent convert to Lee Konitz, the more I hear the more I like. Though he went on to record right up to the present day, the 50’s recordings are remarkably fresh, with his alto’s long fluid lines and swinging turns in direction. His alto has a refreshing lightness and his opening alto duet here with guitarist Billy Bauer on “Kary’s Trance” is a surprising sheer delight. Unusually, Konitz also picks up the tenor sax on several tracks for the first time, yielding a record with an additional layer of interest. The selling point for me, however, was the cover. For any audiophiles out there (yes you Guy! ) the artifice of Konitz, photographed through capacitors, valves and wires in Rudy Van Gelder’s recording studio, is the ultimate Jazz Audiophile image.