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Montréal jazz fest 2009: Jean Derome on Lee Konitz

Juan Rodriguez, The Gazette, July 6, 2009

Montréal’s long-reigning avant-garde-and-mainstream horn explorer Jean Derome, after seeing iconic alto sax explorer Lee Konitz, 80, at the Gesù late Friday night at the Montréal International Jazz Festival: “I’ve listened to him for a long time. At the beginning I didn’t understand anything about what he was doing. But then I began to realize that he always plays the same tunes, but in different ways, even at a solo concert at Théâtre Saint-Denis, lots of silences and abstractions. I always come back to certain discs, among others his record with Sal Mosca, Spirits, and Motion with Elvin Jones. I remember when I was young Robert Daudelin filmed a dinner with Lee Konitz and I was very shy in his presence. Now it’s always nice to see artists that are in fine form despite diminished physical resources. His also has a great rapport with his group Minsarah; one of his great strengths has always been his deep ears. I feel fortunate to see him now and seem him en forme with creative juices. He’s always surprising. Now I can’t wait to see Ornette [Coleman, 79, on Thursday].”