Lennie Tristano

From Academic Kids

Leonard Joseph Tristano (1919 - 1978) was a jazz pianist and composer. He is sometimes regarded as an unduly overlooked figure in jazz history.

Tristano was blind from infancy. He studied piano and music theory from pre-teen years.

His interest in jazz inspired a move to New York City in 1946. Tristano's advanced grasp of harmony fit with the prevailing bebop movement, and he earned a reputation as a gifted pianist, perfoming and recording with bebop's preeminent figures, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.

Tristano formed a sextet, featuring saxophone players Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. The sextet recorded a number of acclaimed compositions, including 1949's "Intuition" and "Digression." Both songs were completely improvised, with no prearranged melody, harmony or rhythm. These two songs are sometimes cited as the first free jazz and earliest free improvisation.

By the mid-1950's, Tristano had all but retired from active performing and recording, choosing instead to focus his energies on music education.

Tristano's compositions--sometimes classified as cool jazz--are noted for their sometimes unusual structure, including use of counterpoint: a feature still rare among jazz songs.

External links

The Lennie Tristano Experience (http://www.lennietristano.com/)de:Lennie Tristano

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