he was listening to him a lotbut some of his conservatory teachers suggested other music also. Pfister explains, "They said, 'it's good what you are doing, with Bill Evans' playing, but you should check more really straight-ahead swing things, and the best guy to listen to is Oscar Peterson.' So a kind of Oscar Peterson period started. And I liked it, but in a way it was frustrating because he was so technically 'on top.' I was transcribing things and was never able to really play it like that[in] the tempos. It was frustrating, and that's the reason I switched to other people." But the "call of the wild," of the less mainstream, returned with Pfister's encountering Jordan.
Pfister's own jazz background began when he was entering his teens and he took lessons in piano from a teacher who taught him a lot of boogie-woogie and blues. Earlier, he had taken classical lessons for two months, but the approach wasn't working. A few years later, with the new teacher, he found what he refers to as the "fun of music." At school he played in rock/funk/soul bands, including some arranging for three horns in the ensemble. He went to university with the idea of becoming a school teacher, but after learning more about the music world in general, he knew he had to go on to music school, and attended the Nuremburg/Augsburg Conservatory. He says "I knew had to at least try the Conservatory." In 2006 he went on to the Baroque city of Wurzburg for his Concert Diploma, for new influences and different teachers.
Pfister's piano influences soon coalesced around Bill Evans
, and she gave Pfister music of Tristano's tunes and solos. Coincidentally, a teacher at his new music school in Wurzburg was also a fan of Tristano. Pfister says, "And so returning to Germanythis was the time I was at WurzburgI went over that book and my teacher [at Wurzburg] was pretty much into Lennie Tristano, and there I discovered him. And so, let's say [in] the last two years, I have listened to him quite a lot. I like his approach, to see the harmonic progressions and what he did melodically. He was really ahead of his time and everybody else. It wasn't really hip at that time, it wasn't common, and he discovered it. If you listen to all the modern players today there is always a little kind of Lenny Tristano-ish influence or view of things in their playing. And that's fascinating to me because he was really ahead of his time. He died too young to see all the influence he has had on people. But I think the main reason for that is that he was teaching so much in the '50s and '60s."
Jordan had studied with Lennie Tristano
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