by Stephen Provizer, The Arts Fuse

“This six-CD box set represents a good overview of pianist Lennie Tristano’s work — live and in-studio, playing solo and with various sized groups. Lennie Popkin, a saxophonist who studied and played with Tristano, created the masters of these sessions, which manage to wrest decent audio quality from disparate sound sources. Popkin also wrote the album notes, but they are pretty much a love fest, so provide little insight into the recordings.

Tristano had a unique career that pushed at the edges of jazz. Some people are all in for his music. Others think he may have been a genius, but harbor the feeling they should like him more than they do. Others he leaves cold. I’ve recently advocated separating the art from the artist, but in this case I will look at Tristano’s career while glancing at how other musicians viewed him. Take it as a somewhat desperate way to ameliorate my respectful but somewhat chilly response to his music.”

Read the complete review here.

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