Feb 29, 1952: Lee Konitz Debuts at Storyville
Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz opened at Storyville, marking his first Boston appearance as a leader. Konitz was already attracting attention before this 1952 trip to Boston, through his work with Lennie Tristano and his role in the 1949 “Birth of the Cool” band. And he was soon to join Stan Kenton’s orchestra. I have not, however, been able to identify Lee’s sidemen on this gig—not even the usually reliable Vin Haynes noted their names. Around this time Konitz recorded with pianist George Wallington, guitarist Chuck Wayne, and drummer Al Levitt, and perhaps some of them were in Boston.
Konitz was invited back to Storyville numerous times. Here is the Konitz quartet (Ronnie Ball, Percy Heath, and Al Levitt) recorded at Storyville on Jan 5, 1954, complete with radio introduction by John McLellan of WHDH-AM.