chris

Lenny Tristano?

36 posts in this topic

Reading the interview with Dave Liebman in the recent Jazz Improv magazine piqued my interest in Lenny Tristano, who I don't think I have ever heard.

What do you all think of him? What recordings would be representative and/or best to get some exposure?

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As a result of an investigation of Warne Marsh I have recently begun listening to Tristano. Contrary to the descriptions of some that his music was cold and mathematical I have found his playing very enjoyable. He had a technical mastery of the keyboard that is quite impressive. Of the Tristano stuff I have heard thus far my favorite is probably the 1955 quartet material with Lee Konitz from the Mosaic box. Very impressive. I have also grown to really appreciate the devotion to true improvisation without cliche that was espoused by "Tristanoites"

Edited by relyles

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I'd start with this one:

c69554up6ys.jpg

Intuition: Lennie Tristano & Warne Marsh (Capitol); This disc includes Marsh's Jazz of Two Cities.

And then pick up this one:

f59004fzop0.jpg

Lennie Tristano/The New Tristano: Lennie Tristano Quartet & Solo (Rhino/Atlantic)

These two give you a lot to sink your teeth into. When I first heard Intuition, it was the only disc that I played for about two weeks thereafter. In fact, I kind of got strange about this album, believing that "everyone" should hear it. I brought it over to my grandmother's one weekend, and put it on. She stopped for a moment, looked like :huh:, and then, in her kind way, said "That's a nice record."

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Good recommendations so far!

The Mosaic might not be around all that long, being no. 174 it is already surrounded by OOP sets.

The Tristano/Konitz/Marsh was my very first Mosaic, and I still (and always will) love it!

The Intuition disc mentioned by Late includes the seminal sessions which (as is said - there are others, earlier ones, I suppose) introduced totally free, abstract playing to jazz. (The Marsh album is a two tenor thing with Ted Brown, a major and virtually unknown figure - great stuff, too!)

These dates, as well as four (or are there five?) tunes made with Lee Konitz (and inlcluded on an OJCCD by Konitz) are certainly included in the Properset.

The Rhino/Atlantic CD then includes two LPs, a solo one, and one where the first side included the famous overdub sessions, and the second side had some quartet live tracks feat. Konitz, Gene Ramey and Art Taylroor - GREAT STUFF!

The Konitz/Tristano/Ramey/Taylor dates are included in their entirety (2CDs) in the Mosaic set.

The Mosaic also includes two Konitz albums, the GREAT (once again...) Konitz/Marsh album, and then at the end, Marsh's own album for Atlantic.

Other early material worth picking up and partially on the Proper, too, I think, would be the Keynote sides. There are lots of alternates, which Proper traditionally omits, however. The whole sessions came out several years ago on Mercury, and is well worth having.

chris: don't expect to find Tristano easily accesible, don't expect to love his music upon first hearing it. His playing (and that of his sidemen, too, often at least) is very cool. He's a linear, thinking player - hell, he swings like hell, too... Hard to describe!

And get used to the thought of drummers merely playing a metronome role (the Keynote sides have no drummer at all) - there was some discussion of Tristano's requirements regarding his drummers in one of the DEEP threads, recently.

Art Taylor however does not really restrict himself to the Tristano frame on those quartet live dates, and Konitz somehow gets a little bit too expressive, too, from time to time, and I consider this part of the fascination of these recordings.

Then, expect yourself becoming a Warne Marsh devotee once you discovered this great musician.

ubu

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Here comes the discography for "Intuition", the Properbox:

Disc One: OUT ON A LIMB

Emmett Carls Sextet 1945, featuring Lennie Tristano : Shorty Rogers, tp; Earl Swope, tb; Emmett Carls, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Chubby Jackson, b; Don Lamond, d.

New York, May 1945

-1 TEA FOR TWO

-2 TEA FOR TWO (TAKE 2)

BLUE LOU

-1 THESE FOOLISH THINGS

-2 THESE FOOLISH THINGS (TAKE 2)

-1 IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN

-2 IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN (TAKE 2)

Lennie Tristano, p

Chicago, 1946

YESTERDAYS

WHAT IS THIS THING

CALLED LOVE

DON’T BLAME ME

I FOUND A NEW BABY

Lennie Tristano Trio : Lennie Tristano, p;

Billy Bauer, g; Leonard Gaskin, b.

New York, late 1946

JBB 268 I CAN’T GET STARTED

JBB 268 A NIGHT IN TUNISIA

Lennie Tristano Trio : Lennie Tristano, p;

Billy Bauer, g; Clyde Lombardi, b.

New York, October 8, 1946

HL 176-1 OUT ON A LIMB

HL 176-2 OUT ON A LIMB

HL 176-3 OUT ON A LIMB

HL 177-1 I CAN’T GET STARTED

HL 177-2 I CAN’T GET STARTED

HL 178-1 I SURRENDER DEAR

HL 178-2 I SURRENDER DEAR

HL 178-3 I SURRENDER DEAR

HL 179-1 INTERLUDE

HL 179-2 INTERLUDE

HL 179-3 INTERLUDE

HL 179-4 INTERLUDE

HL 179-5 INTERLUDE

HL 179-6 INTERLUDE

Disc Two: NEW SOUND

Lennie Tristano Trio : Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Clyde Lombardi, b.

New York, October 8, 1946

UNTITLED BLUES

Lennie Tristano Trio : Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Bob Leininger, b.

New York, March 23, 1947

KH 200 BLUE BOY

KH 201 ATONEMENT

KH 202-1 COOLIN’ OFF WITH ULANOV

KH 202-2 COOLIN’ OFF WITH ULANOV

Lennie Tristano, p

New York, September 23, 1947

D7VB 1649 I DON’T STAND A GHOST OF A CHANCE WITH YOU

D7VB 1650 SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

D7VB 1651 JUST JUDY

Lennie Tristano, p; Bily Bauer, g; John Levy, b

New York, October 23, 1947

SUPERSONIC

ON A PLANET

AIR POCKET

CELESTIA

Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b.

New York, December 31, 1947

FREEDOM

PARALLEL

APELLATION

ABSTRACTION

PALIMPSEST

DISSONANCE

John La Porta, cl, Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b.

New York, December 31, 1947

THROUGH THESE PORTALS

SPECULATION

NEW SOUND

RESEMBLANCE

Disc Three: CROSSCURRENTS

The Metronome All Stars : Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, tp; J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, tb; Buddy de Franco, cl; Charlie Parker, as; Charlie Ventura, ts; Ernie Caceres, bs; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Eddie Safranski, b; Shelly Manne, d; Pete Rugolo, arr; dir.

New York, January 3, 1949

D9VB 0022 VICTORY BALL

Lennie Tristano Quintet/Quartet : Lee Konitz, as; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Shelly Manne, d (-1)

New York, January 11, 1949

JRC 3 TAUTOLOGY (-1)

JRC 8 SUBCONSCIOUS LEE (-1)

JRC 10 RETROSPECTION

JRC 11-B JUDY

Lennie Tristano Sextette : Lee Konitz, as; Warne Marsh, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Harold Granowsky, d.

New York, March 4, 1949

3413 WOW

3414 CROSSCURRENT

Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Harold Granowsky, d.

New York, March 14, 1949

3714-1 YESTERDAYS

Lennie Tristano Sextette : Lee Konitz, as; Warne Marsh, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Denzil Best, d.

New York, May 16, 1949

3784 MARIONETTE

3785 SAX OF A KIND

3786-2 INTUITION

3787 DIGRESSION

Lennie Tristano Quintet : Warne Marsh, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Jeff Morton, d.

Birdland, New York, 1949

REMEMBER

PENNIES

FOOLISH THINGS

INDIANA

I’M NO GOOD WITHOUT YOU

Disc Four: LENNIE’S PENNIES

Lee Konitz, as; Warne Marsh, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Joe Shulman, b; Jeff Morton, d.

Carnegie Hall, New York, December 24, 1949

SAX OF A KIND

YOU GO TO MY HEAD

Lennie Tristano, p; Peter Ind, b; Roy Haynes, d.

New York, October 30, 1951

EIKB-4138-1 JU-JU

EIKB-4139-1 PASSTIME

Lee Konitz, as; Warne Marsh, ts; Lennie Tristano, p; Peter Ind, b; Al Levitt, d.

UGPO Hall, Toronto, Canada, July 17, 1952

LENNIE’S PENNIES

317 EAST 32ND

YOU GO TO MY HEAD

APRIL

SOUND-LEE

BACK HOME

Hey, it has the complete Keynotes, all alternates with it (oct 46 and march 47 dates), the Konitz date I mentioned is there too (Jan 49), as are the dates on the Capitol CD.

Being interested in the box myself (as there seem to be at least some dates I don't have) - can anyone tell us if the dates included are generally there in their entirety?

ubu

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Agree with the above recommendations. Would like to point out that the Proper box is an excellent and very affordable overview of Lennie Tristano's pre-1952 records. It does include the available alternate takes from the various sessions.

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The Tristano/Konitz/Marsh was my very first Mosaic, and I still (and always will) love it!

This set is wonderful, no flat spots at all IMO

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Here comes the discography for "Intuition", the Properbox:

(big edit)

Lennie Tristano Quintet/Quartet :  Lee Konitz, as; Lennie Tristano, p; Billy Bauer, g; Arnold Fishkin, b; Shelly Manne, d (-1)

New York, January 11, 1949

JRC 3  TAUTOLOGY  (-1)

JRC 8 SUBCONSCIOUS LEE (-1)

JRC 10 RETROSPECTION

JRC 11-B JUDY

(another big edit)

Being interested in the box myself (as there seem to be at least some dates I don't have) - can anyone tell us if the dates included are generally there in their entirety?

ubu

Progression, an alternate of Tautology, is missing from the Prestige date.

Maybe others, but this jumped out at me.

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Progression, an alternate of Tautology, is missing from the Prestige date.

Maybe others, but this jumped out at me.

Thanks Chuck, so I was right doubting there are 4 tracks only. That Prestige CD is an essential addition to the early Tristano, Konitz and Marsh music:

leekonitzsubconsciouslee.gif

ubu

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Tristano seems to have been a very complicated and/but brilliant individual. I'm quite fond of his own recordings, but tend to feel more warmth and attatchment towards those of his two main disciples, Konitz and (especially) Marsh. It's like Lennie had all the concepts, but as often as not had some kind of a block against getting them out with a full emotional pallate. Lee & Warne seldom had such problems.

There's been a video out of a solo concert that Lennie gave somewhere in Europe sometimes in the mid-60s, a time in which his public performances were very scarce, and it is fascinating. There is a, not exactly "warmth", but a tenderness, a vulnerabilty in his playing here that doesn't always come through on his records. As well, his always astute harmonic sense is revealed to have continued to develop and deepen, and the standards he plays become full-blown recompositions and reimagings of their original sources. Well worth finding, if you can.

Larry Kart's superb liner essay for the Mosaic set (truly essential music, imo) used to be online somewhere. I can't find it now, but it's highly recommended reading, some very heady stuff about some equally heady music.

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You're right on both counts, Jim. The Mosaic notes were posted on a Lee Konitz discography website, but the last time I looked, that site doesn't exist anymore. The notes are going to be part of my book, though (due fall 2004, if all goes according to plan). Thanks for the compliment on the notes BTW -- five years down the road from writing them, I still think they're pretty interesting; at the least they make some points about Tristano, Konitz, and Marsh that I don't recall reading elsewhere.

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There's a DVD currently out of a solo performance given by Lennie in Copenhagen (I've seen it in the shops here in the UK). If anyone is interested I'll get the details.

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I own a single disc issue of INTUITION. Other than this, I don't think I've heard any other Warne Marsh OR Lennie Tristano. I remember being more interested in Warne than Lennie, but fascinated by both. This is a disc that, when I do pull it out to play, I play it all week long.

What is Lennie Tristano credited for? What was his main focus in music? He seems to be a very seminal figure in many jazz histories. Hopefully, I will read Larry's essay one of these days. In the meantime, can anyone just touch on what they find unique about Tristano, the musician.

Thanks.

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I've only the Rhino in my collection. And should add "Intuition".

Can anyone comment on the fact that Tristano recorded the bass rhythm parts and then speed them up and played overdubs for some sessions? Was it that he couldn't find a player with enough speed? I recall this from maybe the liners of that disc?? Just thought that was pretty ahead of it's time.

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There's a DVD currently out of a solo performance given by Lennie in Copenhagen (I've seen it in the shops here in the UK). If anyone is interested I'll get the details.

I have an old VHS copy. If you are a Tristano-phile like myself, its essential viewing. Its a rather short concert (29 minutes or so [?]) but watching Tristano freely improvise several of these pieces in his inimitable manner, at perhaps the very height of the "free jazz" explosion -- 1965 was the year of ASCENSION, after all -- is just fascinating.

For those further interested...

http://www.lennietristano.com/

Edited by Joe

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There's a DVD currently out of a solo performance given by Lennie in Copenhagen (I've seen it in the shops here in the UK). If anyone is interested I'll get the details.

I have an old VHS copy. If you are a Tristano-phile like myself, its essential viewing. Its a rather short concert (29 minutes or so [?]) but watching Tristano freely improvise several of these pieces in his inimitable manner, at perhaps the very height of the "free jazz" explosion -- 1965 was the year of ASCENSION, after all -- is just fascinating.

For those further interested...

http://www.lennietristano.com/

Is this the same concert that came out on CD from Jazz Records as CONCERT IN COPENHAGEN? That's one of my favorite Tristano CDs.

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The video was shot on the same day as the Copenhagen concert on Jazz Records JR12CD, but is the content the same set/compositions?

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Can anyone provide a list of the Jazz Records CD (were there LPs too?) reissues?

I've got one of them, "Live at Birdland 1949", with the following dates:

Tristano, Marsh, Bauer, Fishkind, Morton:

Remember

Pennies

Foolish Things

Indiana

I'm No Good Without You

Tristano:

Glad Am I

This Is Called Love

Blame Me

I Found My Baby

are the exact recording dates known?

ubu

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There's a DVD currently out of a solo performance given by Lennie in Copenhagen (I've seen it in the shops here in the UK). If anyone is interested I'll get the details.

I have an old VHS copy. If you are a Tristano-phile like myself, its essential viewing. Its a rather short concert (29 minutes or so [?]) but watching Tristano freely improvise several of these pieces in his inimitable manner, at perhaps the very height of the "free jazz" explosion -- 1965 was the year of ASCENSION, after all -- is just fascinating.

For those further interested...

http://www.lennietristano.com/

Apologies - can't find the details of the DVD at the moment but I've got the feeling it was about 60 minutes long. 1965 sounds about right. I'll search for the details later..

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Ubu, have a look at the Jazz Records site B)

http://www.jazzrecordsinc.com/

A great label. They started business in vinyl days. I have a number of their LPs.

Thanks brownie! I could have looked for a site myself, but that one CD I own does not look very much like that label has entered the internet age... thanks!

ubu

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Relevant passage from the Mosaic set notes:

The process whereby Tristano speeded up the tapes of his piano playing on "Line Up" and "East Thirty-Second" to match the prerecorded (and also fiddled with) bass and drum work of Peter Ind and Jeff Morton inspired a fair amount of controversy at the time, and while it died away when "C Minor Complex" made clear again what ought to have been obvious from the first--that Tristano could execute at the speed of "Line Up" and "East Thirty-Second" without electronic assistance--perhaps his justification for what he did ("the result sounded good to me") ought be taken literally. That is, by recording bass-register piano lines and speeding up the tapes until the pitch of the piano lines is raised one octave, Tristano not only made the lines move faster, but he also made a new sound. The lower in register a note on the piano is, the more slowly it "speaks" and the less rapidly it decays. By forcing that effect upwards, Tristano alters the attack-decay relationship of each note--adding a tremendously propulsive, Chu Berry-like buzz or whoosh to tones that couldn’t possibly have that effect, that sound, if they actually had been played in the piano’s middle register.

P.S. Other disagree with this point ("'C Minor Complex' made clear again what ought to have been obvious from the first--that Tristano could execute at the speed of "Line Up" and "East Thirty-Second" without electronic assistance") but I think on too literal grounds; yes, "Line Up" is faster than "C Minor Complex" and the latter is all (or almost all) single-line (don't recall for sure at the moment), while "Line Up" is both single-line and chordal, but the initial objections to what Tristano did on "Line Up" (pianist John Mehegan wrote in a Down Beat article that Tristano had "cheated") were that he couldn't play that way at all in real time, and to my mind "C Minor Complex" makes it clear that he could. Also, it seems likely to me that that the tempo and single-line texture of "C Minor Complex" was mostly a matter of the way Tristano felt it that day.

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Progression, an alternate of Tautology, is missing from the Prestige date.

Maybe others, but this jumped out at me.

Now that I have the Properbox, I note a couple other missing masters. An alternate of Supersonic from the 10/23/47 Allegro/Royale/Savoy date is missing. Also missing is the rest of the Metronome All Star date. Two songs (Victory Ball and Overtime) were recorded at the time AND they did 10" versions as well as 12" takes. All 4 have been reissued in various packages. Bruynincks lists a third take of Victory Ball I've never knowingly encountered.

The box does include the contents of 2 records issued by Jazz (Tristano family label), Live at Birdland 1949 and Live In Toronto 1952. They do not include the other Jazz record (Wow), which falls into the time frame of the set.

Ethical issues aside, this is a very useful and intelligent set. The transfers are ok.

One discographical note - they repeat the mistake of listing Shorty Rogers as the trumpeter on the 1945 Emmett Carls date. The player was Marky Markowitz.

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I've only the Rhino in my collection.

You should understand that Rhino omitted C Minor Complex, my favorite track from The New Tristano. They included it in a piano anthology issued at the time. I have no idea if this is still in print.

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