Lennie Tristano

Tristano 1Lennie Tristano (1919-1978) was a pioneering jazz pianist and composer in Chicago in the early 1940s. A respected performer and teacher, the extremely gifted Tristano was often critical of his contemporaries leading him to be disliked by much of the jazz community while simultaneously respected for his abilities. Although his music tended to defy labels, his recordings from the 1940s and 1950s were extremely influential in the subgenres of cool jazz, bebop, post-bop, and avant-garde jazz.

Lennie Tristano - Episode 1

In this podcast we will listen to his earliest influences and 1st recordings.
CompositionArtistYear
ElegieArt Tatum1938-40
InterludeDizzy Gillespie1946
I Hadn't Anyone 'Til YouEarl Hines Trio1950
Time After TimeMilt Buckner1974
Shoe Shine BoyLester Young with Count Basie1936
Tempus FugitBud Powell Trio1949
Tea For TwoEmmet Carls Sextet1945
Tea For Two (Take 2)Emmet Carls Sextet1945
What Is This Thing Called Love?Lennie Tristano1946
Don't Blame MeLennie Tristano1946
I Found A New BabyLennie Tristano1946

Lenny Tristano - Episode 2

We pick up with his groundbreaking recordings made late 1946 in New York City with his trio and quartet, featuring guitarist Billy Bauer. We begin to hear in the interplay between Tristano and Bauer the beginnings of what later will be referred to as cool jazz and later third stream. By this time he is stretching the boundaries of modern jazz, even though bebop is just catching on with the public.
CompositionArtistYear
A Night in TunisiaLenny Tristano Trio1946
Out on a LimbLenny Tristano Trio1946
I Can’t Get StartedLenny Tristano Trio1946
Untitled BluesLenny Tristano Trio1946
Coolin’ Off With UlanovLenny Tristano Trio1947
On a PlanetLenny Tristano Trio1947

Lenny Tristano - Episode 3

The recordings from 1949 in many ways represent the pinnacle of Tristano’s recorded work. Starting with the fantastic recording, Victory Ball, featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and other notable jazz stars to his experiments with recording pieces with no preset harmony or melody. The Sextette recordings with Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh are executed with flawless abandon and are still marvelous almost 70 years later. The recording of “Intuition,” and especially “Digression,” predate Ornette Coleman’s experiments in ‘free jazz’ by 10 years. In many ways Tristano was ahead of his time; he helped forge the new cool style of the late 1940s. His foray into free form improvisation, while not appreciated at the time, would have great implications in jazz 10 years later.
CompositionArtistYear
Victory BallLenny Tristano/Metronome All-Stars1949
TautologyLenny Tristano Quintet1949
Subconscious LeeLenny Tristano Quintet1949
WowLenny Tristano Sextette1949
CrosscurrentLenny Tristano Sextette1949
IntuitionLenny Tristano Sextette1949
DigressionLenny Tristano Sextette1949