WHO: Lee Konitz Trio
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday
ADMISSION: $18. Sold out
WHERE: The Auditorium of the Albright-Knox Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave.
Some musicians play jazz, some play at it and then there are those few who ARE jazz. Lee Konitz is one of those, a jazz musician as pure as you're likely to find these days. That doesn't mean, of course, that he doesn't function perfectly well in this world without an alto saxophone in his mouth (he is reportedly - get this now - most often found these days on a farm in Poland where he lives peacefully with his European wife. Not exactly where one expects to find an icon of cool jazz). It just means that when Lee Konitz picks up his horn, he plays with a naturalness and authority some musicians seldom imagine, much less attain.
It was Konitz's cool, light tone that was a radical and original departure from the Charlie Parker gospel and was the decisive influence on the inimitable sound of Paul Desmond. A onetime disciple of pianist and theorist Lennie Tristano, Konitz is a linear player who would probably, all things considered, find it difficult NOT to be original in what he plays.
He will bring a pianoless trio to the Art of Jazz Series in the Albright-Knox Gallery at 3 p.m. Sunday. The concert has been a sellout for more than a week. Bruce Eaton will discuss Konitz's work with gallery curator Douglas Dreischspoon in a preconcert talk at 2 p.m.