Lee Konitz (born October 13, 1927) is an American jazz composer and alto saxophonist who was born in Chicago, Illinois.
He has performed successfully in a wide range of jazz styles, including bebop, cool jazz and avant-garde settings. Konitz's association with the cool jazz movement of the 1940s and 1950s, includes participation in Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, and his work with pianist/theoretician Lennie Tristano. He was notable during this era as one of relatively few alto saxophonists to retain a distinctive style when Charlie Parker exerted a massive influence.
Like other students of Tristano, Konitz was noted for improvising long, melodic lines with the rhythmic interest coming from odd accents, or odd note groupings suggestive of the imposition of one time signature over another. Other saxophonists were strongly influenced by Konitz, notably Paul Desmond and Art Pepper.