Lennie Tristano, Berlin 1965

Yet again, another interesting and rhythmic recording from the great jazz piano teacher, Lennie Tristano:


His general lack of available recordings has made him a less celebrated pianist than perhaps he deserves, as well as his unwillingness to fit squarely into the burgeoning bebop style of his contemporaries.  Jeff would certainly whine about Lennie's big fat 10-note piano chords, and this recording showcases plenty of these in all of their crunchy glory.  What's maybe most interesting to me about this particular recording (and I don't have a title for it) is the way that Lennie's chords are so very dense that they almost constitute entire modes or scales played at once.  The motion between them is difficult to decipher, but the movement is clear.

His melody lines are clearly articulated but tend to refuse to gravitate to the usual tonal homes of bebop.  I enjoy how chromatic his playing is; it certainly foreshadows his atonal ventures to come.  Such a strange syncopated jaunt this is!  And though it's clearly in C minor, do I hear an Eb as the final bass note?

Also, seriously, is that drummer playing straight eighth notes?  Those wacky Germans!

I will have to study his educational methods more fully very soon.