Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lennie Tristano

Lennie Tristano's Atlantic debut was a controversial album at the time of its release. Though Tristano was regarded as a stellar and innovative bebop pianist, he had been absent from recording for six years and had founded a jazz school where he focused instead on teaching. The first four tunes on this set shocked the jazz world at the time of their release (though not critic Barry Ulanov, who was Tristano's greatest champion and wrote the liner notes for the set). The reason was that on those four original tunes -- "Line Up," "Requiem," "Turkish Mambo," and "East Thirty-Second" -- Tristano actually overdubbed piano lines, and sped the tape up and down for effect. While the effect is quite listenable and only jarring in the most splendid sense of the word -- because of the sharp, angular arpeggios and the knotty, involved method of improvising that came directly by improvising against the rhythm section of drummer Jeff Morton and bassist Peter Ind -- it was literally unheard of at the time. The last five tunes on the disc were recorded live with a rhythm section of bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Art Taylor. Lee Konitz plays alto as well. The tunes are all standards, including "These Foolish Things," "Ghost of a Chance," and "All the Things You Are." The performance is flawless, with beautiful interplay between Lee and Lennie and stellar harmonic ideas coming down from the bandstand in a fluid relaxed manner. This is a gorgeous album with a beautiful juxtaposition between its first and second halves, with the rhythmic and intervallic genius of Tristano as an improviser on full display during the first half and the pianist as a supreme lyrical and swinging harmonist during the back half.
Thom Jurek

Source :

Lennie Tristano


1 Line Up (Tristano)  3:35
2 Requiem (Tristano)  4:54
3 Turkish Mambo (Tristano)  3:32
4 East Thirty Second Street (Tristano)  4:34
5 These Foolish Things (Link, Strachey, Marvell)  5:46
6 You Go to my Head (Coots, Gillespie)  5:25
7 If I Had You (Campbell, Conelly, Shapiro)  6:29
8 A Ghost of a Chance (Young, Washington, Crosby)  6:06
9 All the Things You are (Kern, Hammerstein)  6:11
10 My Melancholy Baby (Burnell, Norton)  8:10
11 April (Tristano)  8:15
12 Pennies in Minor (Tristano)  6:17
13 Mean to Me (Turk, Ahlert)  7:42


[# 1-4]
Lennie Tristano - p
Peter Ind - b [# 3 out]
Jeff Morton - dr [# 2 out]
Recorded at Tristano's Home Studio ; 1954-1955
[# 5-13]
Lennie Tristano - p
Lee Konitz - as
Gene Ramey - b
Art Taylor - dr
Recorded live at Sing Song Room, Confucius Restaurant, New York ; June 11, 1955


Melanchthon said...

anon'n'on said...

there must be a very good reward whether monetary or other wise for jazz artists to eschew recording for teaching..thanks

jazzcat1228 said...

Thank you, Mel! I'm always fascinated to listen to Tristano, especially with Lee Knoitz. They make some beautiful music.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank you

AmyBRAINS said...

Great piano player!!
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

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ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel

Aureacordes said...

Thank you. Excellent music!

Guille Tolstoi said...

the second link its fucker Man! :(

marc said...

Wonderful material! The second and third links have expired though.....FYI.

Frog said...

Please reup the links...thanks wonderful collection