(Bruce) Williams and (Mike) Lee provided a beguiling blend of tones and asides during the theme. Powerhouse Lee, who boasts tremendous technique and improvisational acumen, played a solo full of complex ideas that were deftly resolved. His affinity for early 1960s John Coltrane was front and center.
Bill Holmans’s arrangement of “Too Close for Comfort” afforded (Mike) Lee the space to show his mastery of technique and umimpeded flow of ideas. His control of the altissimo register permits his carrying a full, clear tone to the uppermost reaches, feeding each climax and contrasting with the flurries of notes he spits out in the middle range.
- Eric Erickson – Northeast Wisconsin Music Review – August 1, 2005 Review of Birch Creek Academy Band
This gifted composer and masterful saxophonist has crafted tunes of character, lilt, and elegance, buoying them with his fat back, velvety saxophone.
An inventive improviser, ideas flow from [Lee's] horn in great profusion.
Mike Lee is a very gifted and exciting young saxophonist who has the future in his sound.
- Joe Lovano, Blue Note Recording Artist
The saxophonist has been gaining a reputation as one of the — baddest — improvisers on the scene which was evidenced on his brand new release, titled My Backyard.
(Joe) Lovano….and (Mike) Lee (filling the Role taken by Joshua Redman on the record) played off each other with all the uncanny musical symbiosis that the great tenor teams of yore – Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons – used to exhibit.
- David Sowd Akron Beacon-Journal, January 2, 1995
…a wonderful saxophonist and composer as well…
- Michael Brecker, Impulse Recording Artist
On the basis of The Quiet Answer, Michael Lee has joined the ranks of the Cats (Branford Marsalis, Ralph Moore, Courtney Pine, Ralph Bowen): Fresh voices who are widening the envelope of possibility within the tenor/soprano saxophone post-bop mainstream. His sound on tenor is clean and strong…He writes good songs and he possesses the discipline and fluency to shape the flow of every improvisation into meaningful form…
- Thomas Conrad CD REVIEW August/1991
Tenor saxophonist Michael Lee represents the latest luminary in a long tradition of outstanding Cleveland saxophonists. His writing and playing exhibit a consistently high intelligence and concern for continuity and purpose. …I have noticed an assimilation of varied influences in the hard-bop mainstream, and a marvelous fluency. His command of the instrument is masterful, and he has refined an incisive posture within his approach to improvisation.
- Mark C. Gridley, author Jazz Styles: History and Analysis (Prentice-Hall)
Mike Lee? Wow!! I really enjoyed creating with him. His sensitivity is superb.
- Marcus Belgrave Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Mike is an outstanding clinician and an excellent musician. He has much to offer both the beginning and advanced student. I recommend him highly.
- Gene Aitken, Director University of Northern Colorado Jazz Studies Program
Mike Lee gave an excellent saxophone/jazz improvisation clinic at the University of Miami. He chose to address the all-important issues of sound, time, and personal expression and definitely got his message across to my saxophone students, and to the members of the rhythm section as well. He also shared some good advice about establishing a career as a jazz musician, detailing the obstacles as well as the rewards. I would highly recommend his program to any music school.
- Gary Keller, Saxophone University of Miami Jazz Program