You may have never heard of pianist Lennie Tristano before, but it is our hope that you'll develop a keen appreciation for his music and for what his approach meant to the development of Jazz history.
Blind from an early age, Lennie Tristano emerged on the New York scene in the mid 40's, during the birth of be-bop. His curious knack for creative exploration meant that Tristano traveled in different directions that his peers (Charlie Parker, Bud Powell) - employing polytonal principles and using counterpuntal melodies in ways not yet explored in Jazz music. Many music scholars now agree that what Tristano was doing in the late 40's was actually the birth of the music known as "Free Jazz" developed a full decade before Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry or John Coltrane.
Yet most of Tristano's music now sounds a bit "inside" to the modern Jazz ear. His stylistic approach has been classified as Be-Bop, Cool Jazz, Avant-Garde and Post-Bop...but in all reality, Lennie Tristano was a true original and really defies classification.
We hope you'll find a new favorite in this week's KMHD Artist Spotlight!
-Matt Fleeger, Program Director
See Past Artist Spotlights