The Mark Masters Ensemble features several excellent west coast musicians, including bassist Putter Smith, drummer Kendall Kay and Gary Foster, whose alto saxophone playing is indebted to that of the master Konitz. The CD opens with "Thingin'," Konitz playing unaccompanied for the first minute before the band falls in behind. Konitz retains his signature sound, a sax that is cool and dry but not cold. Konitz solos with style and invention throughout, and the other players distinguish themselves also. Foster's exchanges with Konitz are the highlight of "317 East 32nd Street," "Gundula" is highlighted by a great solo from Smith, and pianist Cecilia Coleman holds everything together and shines on her solo turns.
One Day with Lee is a rewarding listen, matching excellent individual performances with intricate and smart big band arrangements. Masters' orchestrations of Konitz early solos make an interesting contrast with his mature playing and seem to inspire the altoist's new explorations. Likewise, the presence of the sax great seems to bring the best out of Foster, Kay and the rest of the group. Konitz, in his seventh decade of recording, re-records seven of his classics here, breathing new life into each one.