Jim Anderson Records Lee Konitz with Sanken Microphones
Jazz Legend Live at NYC's Village Vanguard
Professor and recording engineer Jim Anderson recorded the new live album from jazz legend Lee Konitz at NYC's Village Vanguard with Sanken microphones.
Anderson chose the Sanken CU-41 dual capsule condenser mic for Konitz's alto sax and the stereo Sanken CUW-180 for the piano.
Pictured with a matched pair of Sanken CU-41 dual-capsule microphones is engineer/producer and NYU professor Jim Anderson. Photo by James Katz.
"Sanken CU-41's are my go-to microphones for sax, drum overheads, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar amplifiers," explained engineer/producer Anderson, who is New York University professor at the Clive Davis Dept. of Recorded Music and Fellow and Past-president of the AES. "It's a microphone that is especially suited to Lee's alto sax. On a previous recording with Lee ("Strings for Holiday" - Enja Records), the CU-41 did a remarkable job in the studio of capturing the subtle detail of Lee's playing and I wanted to recreate that sound, live."
Essential to the CU-41's performance is its unique double condenser capsule design. Unlike conventional microphones, the CU-41 consists of two condenser capsules, one of small and one of large diameter. The small capsule picks up the upper range of audio frequencies and the large one picks up the lower range.
Jazz composer and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is considered one of the driving forces of the Cool Jazz movement that evolved in the 1940s and 1950s. He has been very prolific, recording dozens of albums as a band leader, and has also recorded or performed with Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones and others.
"The dual-capsule stereo CUW-180 was perfect for piano and worked out well for this album because we recorded live to a stereo 2-track mix," remarked Anderson. In a live recording, where leakage can be an issue, using the CUW-180 gave me excellent focus on the piano, while the off-axis pick-up was what I like to call "good leakage." Leakage that doesn't detract from the final mix. I've been a longtime user of Sanken Microphones and I find that the off-axis quality of their products to be excellent."
With two cardioid condenser microphones in one body, the CUW-180 is Ideal for stereo. Each of the two 180-degree capsules is independently adjustable, while the position of both capsules maintains optimum on-axis response and phase coherence.
Konitz recorded at one of New York's vanguard jazz venues with the international trio Minsarah: pianist Florian Weber, bassist Jeff Denson and drummer Ziv Ravitz. In true Konitz fashion, the quartet deconstructed four jazz standards and three originals, two of which were written by Konitz. Becoming more experimental as he has grown older, Konitz has released a number of experimental avant-garde jazz albums, playing alongside many far younger musicians. The new album is available from Enja Records.