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GRACEFULLEE by Grace Kelly and Lee Konitz

Yes, she is young. Yes, she has great chops, but when you hear Grace Kelly's tone, you will agree that a fine innovator is poised on the horizon of jazz today.

Here she is paired with her mentor the great legend, Lee Konitz, which is a double treat to the listener. When you add veteran bassist Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson on drums, and Russell Malone on guitar, then you have the elements of an interesting collobaration.

There has been a recent trend for jazz artists of the past to do albums with younger friends. Tony Bennett and Herbie Hancock come to mind. Yet, before you categorize this album in that group, remember that six of the ten numbers here are original tunes by either Grace or Lee. Yes, she performs, but she also writes and melds with experienced musicians who are undeniably her senior.

It is apparent that Grace and Lee had a lot of fun on this session, which by the way, was done in one take. What is also apparent is the number of knowledgeable listeners whose attention has been seized by this young talent. Among her numerous honors, she is winner of the Downbeat Student Music Awards three years in a row.

Grace Kelly has been accepted to Berklee College of Music at age 16. After that, it will be interesting to follow her music in the coming years.

"Subconscious Lee"

A melodious duet that breaks out into complete spontaneity followed by the tight rhythm section.

"Just Friends"

In this introspective piece, Grace's tone just astounds the listener. A "friendly" version of "Just Friends."

"GRACEfulLEE"

Starts as another lock step duet from these inspiring alto players, but then walks us gracefully through some trully beautiful changes. Take special note of Russell Malone's solo, which is expecially satisfying.

"There Is No Greater Love"

Reid's soul resonating bass on this standard illustrates, by example, why he is such an in-demand clinician. Grace's phrasing punctuates in a playful way.

"You Don't Know What Love Is"

Two sax compadres tastefully join the rest of the band in honoring this work in their own way.

"Alone Together"

Fluidic musical ideas surround this familiar piece in a call and response that is short, and leaves the listener wanting more.

"Thingin'"

A monkish composition that evokes some of Lee's 'cool' era, but with a fresh sound.

"Call Of The Spirits"

Here Grace and Matt attempt to raise spirits with their hypnotic minimalism.

"NY At Noon"

Ornette might smile upon hearing this 'harmolodic' style piece. Like the place, and the time this one just has to be experienced.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Grace Kelly and Lee Konitz
  • CD Title: GRACEFULLEE
  • Genre: Cool Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Pazz Productions LLC
  • Rating: Four Stars
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