After appearing on Miles Davisī Birth of the Cool sessions, Lee Konitz (b. 10/13/27, Chicago, IL) became known as a chief exponent of the cool style; at a time when most alto saxophonists were under the overwhelming influence of Charlie Parker, he found his own voice and became one of the true jazz improvisers. Early on, Konitz gained some recognition for his solos with Claude Thornhillīs Orchestra (ī47), but it was during his studies with Lennie Tristano that he developed his singular conception and approach to improvising; in 1949 he recorded the first two free improvisations with the pianistīs sextet, a group that featured Warne marsh, one of Konitzīs longstanding collaborators. After a stint with Stand Kentonīs Orchestra (ī52-ī54), Konitz became a leader primarily. For the past forty years, Konitz has recorded everything from the coolest bop to the most abstract free improvisations; his voice remains authentic and an influence on many musicians to follow. In 1992 Konitz won the prestigious Danish Jazzpar Prize, a fitting tribute to a career of thoughtful and innovative work.