Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz has enjyoyed one of the most creative and prolific careers in modern jazz. After early experiences with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra (arranged by Gil Evans), Stan Kenton's Orchestra, the innovative small groups of Lennie Tristano, and the Miles Davis Capitol Orchestra, Konitz turned freelance and has remained on the cutting edge of post-bop improvisation ever since. His exceptionally large and varied discography also includes an unaccompanied saxophone solo album, innovative albums of duets spanning jazz styles, and collaborations reading like a "who's who" of the jazz world. Konitz's influence can be heard in the playing of alto saxophonists Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Paul Desmond, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, and countless others.
The members of Minsarah met in September 2000 at the Berklee in Boston. They developed an intense musical connection and unique trio sound. The word Minsarah means "prism" in Hebrew. As a team of interactive improvisors, the trio plays with with power, intensity, fresh lyricism, and a sense of melody refracting and reflecting new sound colors and ideas.
Lee met German pianist Florian Weber and fellow Minsarah band members bassist Jeff Denson (US) and drummer Ziv Ravitz (Israel) in Cologne, Germany. The quartet has worked together throughout Europe and the US, and made their first recording on the Enja label entitled "Deep Lee" in 2008.
With Minsarah, Lee found kindred spirits and partners to push the boundaries of jazz. He says, "I never really had a band full-time; instead I always played with different people on invitation." In 2009 the quartet recorded the "Lee Konitz New Quartet: Live at the Village Vanguard." Lee remarked "With the musicians on this album, I could truly improvise and enjoy everything everyone was contributing to the music: creativity and being spiritually and prfoundly on the same wavelength. This four voice group playing together and being interested in each other on a personal and musical level is what having a band means to me."