Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lennie Niehaus: "Annie's Dance"

© -Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

When the editorial staff at JazzProfiles wrote the feature on alto saxophonist and composer-arranger Lennie Niehaus which is currently available for review at the bottom of the columnar side [scroll down on the left] of the blog, the crackerjack graphics theme at CerraJazz LTD had not as yet developed a video tribute to him.

This has now been rectified.  We’ve also added gathered a few, more praiseworthy comments about this “… remarkable alto soloist, with a sense of flowing melodic line, lovely cool tone, and strong feeling for rhythm. He is a thoughtful and serious musician, who composes and arranges in his own style, with definite ideas of where he is going and what he wants to achieve.” – Lester Koenig, Contemporary Records

“In the mid-1950’s, Lennie Niehaus avoided clich√©, incorporated audacious harmonic ideas, and distilled the essentials of big band writing into arrangements for small groups. His recordings are still notable in the 21st century for their freshness and daring.” – Fantasy Records/Concord Records Group

“Year after year, record after record, Lennie Niehaus seems ever truer to himself. His work is marked by the same simplicity of conception, same strength of execution, absence of the slightest extravagance and, …, the same honesty.” – Andre’ Hodier

“I’m still out there,” says Lennie Niehaus, looking trim and vigorous, a 78-year-old with plenty of miles left on his odometer. “Last year I did two movies and a six-hour miniseries, and a couple of years ago I went to England to conduct the BBC Jazz Orchestra.”

Not bad for a guy who was playing alto saxophone with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1951; has scored, arranged or composed the music for 17 movies produced or directed by Clint Eastwood; and who won an Emmy award for his score for the Showtime film Lush Life.” … - Don Heckman/ September 2007/JazzTimes