Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

RADIO

Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz: Proto-Cool (1946 - 1955)

Read "Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz: Proto-Cool (1946 - 1955)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Pianist Lennie Tristano was a very visible participant in the modern jazz innovations of the mid-1940s through the early 1950s, winning polls and participating in all-star jam sessions. Yet his music was always a little outside the mainstream and was increasingly so as he began to experiment with fully improvised performances by 1947. While his focus on low dynamics and long flowing lines has been seen as a precursor of the cool school that arose early in the 1950s, the ...

RADIO

March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials

Read "March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We've got a nice slug of celebrants to honor in addition to our 'centennialins.' Our best wishes go out to Bill Frisell (playing here with Andrew Cyrille and Wadada Leo Smith), Joe Locke, Charles Lloyd, and Roy Haynes (backing Sarah Vaughan). A very special shout out to Jessica Williams! Enjoy the show! Playlist Joe Locke “Litha" from Beauty Burning (Sirocco) 00:00 Nat King Cole “Sometimes I'm Happy" from After Midnight (Capitol) 07:32 Nat King Cole “The Lonely One" ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience

Read "Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience" reviewed by Bill Dal Cerro

The following is an excerpt from the “Lennie Tristano: The Passionate Intellectual" chapter of Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience by Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter (Bella Musica Publishing, 2015). World War II and the atomic bomb changed not only the political landscape, but art, architecture and music as well. In architecture, “Googie" or “Ray-Gun Gothic" combined many of the traditional elements introduced by Frank Lloyd Wright almost forty years ...

BOOK REVIEW

Lennie Tristano: Jazz Visions & Lennie Tristano: His Life in Music

Read "Lennie Tristano: Jazz Visions & Lennie Tristano: His Life in Music" reviewed by Francis Lo Kee

In 1949 Lennie Tristano (1919-78) recorded “Intuition and “Digression , two of the earliest examples of freely improvised jazz. Though the approaches and content differ greatly, authors Peter Ind and Eunmi Shim agree on the following: Tristano best represents how a non-commercial artist can be “air-brushed out of jazz history as an extremely influential teacher. Jazz Visions: Lennie Tristano and His Legacy Peter Ind Paperback; 192 pages ISBN: 1845530454 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Lennie Tristano: Abstraction & Improvisation

Read "Abstraction & Improvisation" reviewed by Nic Jones

Pianist, composer and educator Lennie Tristano's place in the history of the music seems anomalous from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. His music was arguably as iconoclastic as that of Charlie Parker's and Dizzy Gillespie's and equally of its time, but in contrast with that it can come across as colorless and one-dimensional. His influence has been limited to the likes of sax players Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz, though amongst his fellow pianists only names such as ...

Lennie Tristano

Read "Lennie Tristano" reviewed by Peter Madsen

"It would be useless for me to play something I don't feel. I wouldn't be doing anything. If I played something that I'd have to impose on myself, I wouldn't be playing anything good." (Lennie Tristano - 1950)

“Everybody in this country is very neurotic now. They're afraid to experience an intense emotion, the kind of emotion, for instance, that's brought on by good jazz. There's more vitality in jazz than in any other art form today. Vitality ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Lennie Tristano: Intuition

Read "Intuition" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Lennie Tristano has been dead since 1978, yet the blind virtuoso pianist remains among the most enigmatic, even paradoxical of jazz innovators. His music was considered cool and intellectual, yet Tristano himself was an intense, often passionate improviser capable of sustained swing. Although he recorded the pioneering free pieces “Intuition" and “Digression," which are included here, most of his music consisted of standards, albeit radically reharmonized. And although he often insisted on uninflected timekeeping from his rhythm sections, he responded ...


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