Usually when a musician gets older, he or she will stick with what they are best known for and what gets them the best gigs. (B.B. King, for example, has been playing the same guitar solo for 30 years now.) Legendary Jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz has taken the opposite approach, choosing to continually explore Jazz by working with younger musicians and playing Free Jazz and other avant-garde variations on the sound. The now 81-year-old Konitz became best known for being one of the leaders of “Cool Jazz,” a style that emerged from the West Coast and favored lighter, more direct melodies and rhythm. Konitz was a key player on Miles Davis’ early-’50s masterpiece, Birth of Cool. Konitz has worked with a ton of big-name artists — Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck, to name a few — but he has also racked up an impressive and head-spinningly diverse discography as a band leader. Konitz comes to Cincinnati this Saturday for two shows at The Blue Wisp Downtown. The Steve Schmidt Trio opens. Tickets are $20 for one show or $30 to see both sets.
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