Tepfer: "Some people will say, ‘Oh, Lee Konitz plays sharp.’ But in fact, you are able to play more in tune than anybody I’ve ever heard..."
Konitz: “Isn’t that a nice thing to say?”
Tepfer: “…It’s exactly what you just said: you will play sharp if you feel antisocial, but you’ll also play perfectly in tune if you feel social. I just think the exclusivity of intonation is something that almost nobody uses.”
Konitz: “Well, that’s the fact, I think. Jackie McLean didn’t want to talk about [it]… I went into a club where he was playing with Cedar Walton’s trio, and the pianist Larry Willis was sitting at the bar in front of me, at the Village Vanguard. And Cedar played a couple of tunes and then called Jackie up, and Jackie was sharp. I mean, no playing around, he was sharp. And so after a little while Larry turned back to me and he said, ‘He can push it in or pull it out, but don’t leave it where it is!’ [Laughter.] And I tried to talk to Jackie afterwards—he didn’t want to talk about it. That was it, that’s the way he heard it, and it’s the way I hear it: sometimes it’s a little bit on the edge, sometimes… But some so-called critic, reviewing a record, said, ‘I can’t stand listening to this man playing flat all the time.’ [Laughter.] Jesus Christ, what could he say about the music after that.So [wagging finger] we can’t depend on those guys …”
The full video is here.