Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lennie Tristano & Buddy DeFranco - Cool & Quiet

The history of jazz is written as a recounting of the lives of its most famous (and presumably, most influential) artists. Reality is not so simple, however. Certainly the most important of the music's innovators are those whose names are known by all — Armstrong, Parker, Young, Coltrane. Unfortunately, the jazz critic's tendency to inflate the major figures' status often comes at the expense of other musicians' reputations -- men and women who have made significant, even essential, contributions of their own, who are, for whatever reason, overlooked in the mad rush to canonize a select few. Lennie Tristano is one of those who have not yet received their critical due. In the mid-'40s, the Chicago-born pianist arrived on the scene with a concept that genuinely expanded the prevailing bop aesthetic. Tristano brought to the music of Charlie Parker and Bud Powell a harmonic language that adapted the practices of contemporary classical music; his use of polytonal effects in tunes like "Out on a Limb" was almost Stravinsky-esque, and his extensive use of counterpoint was (whether or not he was conscious of it at the time) in keeping with the trends being set in mid-century art music. Until relatively recently, it had seldom been acknowledged that Tristano had been the first to perform and record a type of music that came to be called "free jazz." In 1949 — almost a decade before the making of Ornette Coleman's first records — Tristano's group (which included Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, and Billy Bauer) cut the first recorded example of freely improvised music in the history of jazz. The two cuts, "Intuition" and "Digression," were created spontaneously, without any pre-ordained reference to time, tonality, or melody. The resultant work was an outgrowth of Tristano's preoccupation with feeling and spontaneity in the creation of music. It influenced, among others, Charles Mingus, whose earliest records sound eerily similar to those of Tristano in terms of style and compositional technique. Mingus came by the influence honestly ; he studied with the pianist for a period in the early '50s, as did many other well-known jazz musicians, such as Sal Mosca, Phil Woods, and the aforementioned Konitz and Marsh.
Chris Kelsey

Source :

Lennie Tristano
Buddy DeFranco
Cool & Quiet


1 Wow (Tristano)  3:22
2 Crosscurrent (Tristano)  2:50
3 Yesterdays (Harbach, Kern)  2:48
4 Marionette (Bauer)  3:06
5 Sax of a Kind (Konitz, Marsh)  3:01
6 Intuition (Tristano)  2:29
7 Digression (Tristano)  3:06
8 The Boy next Door (Blane, Martin)  2:35
9 A Bird in Igor's Yard (Russell)  2:53
10 This Time the Dream's on Me (Arlen, Mercer)  3:07
11 Bud's Invention (DeFranco ?)  2:39
12 Penthouse Serenade (Jason, Burton)  3:03
13 Extrovert (Leonard)  2:56
14 Good for Nothin' Joe (Bloom, Koehler)  2:47
15 Aishie (Cohen)  3:00


[# 1 & 2] Lennie Tristano Sextette
Lee Konitz - as
Warne Marsh - ts
Lennie Tristano - p
Billy Bauer - g
Arnold Fishkin - b
Harold Granowsky - dr
Recorded in New York City ; March 4, 1949
[# 3]
Same as above, except
Konitz & Marsh are out
Recorded in New York ; March 14, 1949
[# 4-7]
Lee Konitz - as
Warne Marsh - ts
Lennie Tristano - p
Billy Bauer - g
Arnold Fishkin - b
Denzil Best - dr
Recorded in New York ; May 16, 1949
[# 8-10] Buddy DeFranco & His Orchestra
Bernie Glow, Paul Cohen, James Pupa & Jack Eagle - tp
Ollie Wilson, Earl Swope & Bart Varsamona - tb
Buddy DeFranco - cl
Lee Konitz & Frank Socolow - ts
Serge Chaloff - bs
Gene Dinovi - p
Oscar Pettiford - b
Irv Kluger - dr
Recorded in New York ; April 23, 1949
[# 11-15] Buddy DeFranco Sextet
Buddy DeFranco - cl
Teddy Charles - vb
Harvey Leonard - p
Jimmy Raney - g
Bob Carter - b
Max Roach - dr
Recorded in New York ; April 24, 1949

In August 1947, DeFranco was recording with the Boyd Raeburn band accompanying Ginnie Powell, who sang four troubling numbers over arrangements by Johnny Richards. Powell almost scats during How High the Moon, drags her way through an awful song called Trouble is a Man, and sounds prissy during the more imaginative arrangement of St. Louis Blues. DeFranco is inaudible throughout (Boyd Raeburn, Jewels, Savoy). Raeburn had already made his striking and strikingly unpopular tune Boyd Meets Stravinsky, a bomb, but that didn’t deter DeFranco, who in the first session under his own name recorded an avant-garde number by George Russell, A Bird in Igor’s Yard. He must have felt confident: He had already been chosen to play with the Metronome All Stars in a band that featured Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Fats Navarro on trumpet, and his idol Charlie Parker on alto. During that all important first recording session as a leader, he recorded three sides on April 23, 1949 in front of a big band that included emerging stars such as Al Cohn, Lee Konitz, Serge Chaloff, Tal Farlow, and bassist Oscar Pettiford. None of the sides was issued at the time. (All were recently available with 21 other early sides on Buddy DeFranco, 1949–1952, Classics ; and these sides are also on 1949–1952 Studio Performances on Hep.) The sticking point couldn’t have been the sweet, sophisticated ballad The Boy Next Door, arranged by Manny Albam. DeFranco plays beautifully, and simply, on that ravishing performance. The other ballad, This Time the Dream’s On Me, with its slightly aggressive introduction, gets another gorgeously phrased melody statement. Then there’s a boppish soli chorus played by the reeds, a short trumpet solo, and DeFranco ends with something that sounds like a hop, skip, and a jump, or maybe like a bird call. The tune ends dissonantly. It is a challenging ballad performance.
But the real issue for Capitol Records must have been George Russell’s A Bird in Igor’s Yard, a restless, chattery piece played mostly at full volume that had DeFranco poking in and out of dissonant brass shouts and other interruptions. Though it hardly shocks us today, the piece may in fact have been trying to do too much in three minutes. Certainly Capitol Records thought so. Even the composer was ambivalent about it for a long time : In the many times I talked to him, George Russell seemed at first doubtful about A Bird in Igor’s Yard , but warmed up to the piece as he got older. It must have been disheartening to have one’s first recording session as a leader repressed, but DeFranco (and Capitol Records) came back a few months later with a boppish small band session featuring Max Roach on drums, Teddy Charles on vibes, and guitarist Jimmy Raney. The session started with Bud’s Invention, a tribute to bop giant Bud Powell. It’s followed by a gently Modernist rendition of Penthouse Serenade that reminds us that one of DeFranco’s heroes was Artie Shaw. Then, powered by Roach’s cymbals, DeFranco races through the uptempo bopping Extrovert. In one session he shows his mastery of the new harmonics, his ability to play fluently at seemingly any speed, and to invent exhilarating angular melodies and improvisations. Occasionally in this period he would interject a fluid Benny Goodman scale, the way Art Tatum would decorate a line, but then he’d leap in an unexpected direction and follow a harmonic direction Goodman wouldn’t dream of, or at least didn’t dream of for long.
Michael Ullman

Source :

Se also


Melanchthon said...

musician3 said...

AMAZING...........................THANK YOU FOR ALL

ProfessorCalculus said...

A big thank you.

hepcat said...

This is greatly appreciated, many thanks.

deGallo said...

Yes! Thank you.

sandor essedy said...

not certain to have the Tristano tunes, but certain not to have the DeFranco; thanks a lot.

blbs said...

Old wines in new bottles...Thank you!

steve said...

Very fine Mel! Thanks for this listen good sir!

headman said...

What a fine looking compilation...thanks, Mel. I probably already have the Lennie Tristano tracks but the Buddy DeFranco look new to me.

AmyBRAINS said...

Thanks a lot Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Paul Brigg said...

As a big George Russell, I've been looking for "A Bird in Igor's Yard" for years! Very many thanks.

HEXIS said...

A big thank you.
Thanks Mel!