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Lennie Tristano : The Very Best of

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Album Review

This anthology combines two major Lennie Tristano albums, Lennie Tristano and The New Tristano; the first nine cuts were done in 1955 and include two trio and two solo numbers, plus five quartet pieces. The quartet tunes include alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and drummer Art Taylor. Tristano's piano solos are more challenging and ambitious on the disc's other six numbers, however; these are unaccompanied solo works recorded between 1960 and 1962, all except "You Don't Know What Love Is" Tristano originals. The variety and sheer amount of ideas, plus the facility of the lines and the overall performances, are impressive. Only the absence of the cut "C Minor Complex" (explained by time restrictions) mars things slightly, but this is a superb presentation of Lennie Tristano's work.

Biography

Born: 19 March 1919 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

The history of jazz is written as a recounting of the lives of its most famous (and presumably, most influential) artists. Reality is not so simple, however. Certainly the most important of the music's innovators are those whose names are known by all — Armstrong, Parker, Young, Coltrane. Unfortunately, the jazz critic's tendency to inflate the major figures' status often comes at the expense of other musicians' reputations — men and women who have made significant, even essential, contributions...
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