Monday, September 22, 2008

Good Sax

It's the tenth anniversary of Joe's Pub and we've been having some amazing shows, shows that are the kind of thing you're only gonna get to see at Joe's Pub, shows that nightly display what an amazing place Joe's Pub continues to be.

For example, last week the alto-sax genius, Lee Konitz, played a set with Ethan Iverson accompanying on piano. It was billed as a concert with conversation, with Iverson asking occasional questions of Konitz who, in his answers about his improvisational methods, seemed content to answer with jokes and shrugs. He's a player and his eloquence flows mostly from his alto sax. That isn't to say he wasn't fascinating to listen to; on the contrary, for I am always most impressed with and moved by artists whose faith in the possibilities of the unknown is their paramount source of inspiration.

At one point, Iverson observed that Konitz had been annointed a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In response Konitz tried to separate himself from the idea of being a "master" of anything. Searching for a word he felt comfortable with, he outright dismissed "master" and shrugged off the idea that he was "eminent."

"Noteworthy," he said simply, "I think I'm noteworthy" and then he played music that had never been played before and will never be heard again.


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