The Duo Sessions
Release Date: March 19, 2020
Label: Dot Time Records
Dot Time Records adds jazz luminary Lennie Tristano to their Legends Series. Dot Time is pleased to release a compendium of never-before-heard recordings that span the decades of Tristano’s illustrious career. The first of this series, Lennie Tristano: Duos, a collection of duo recordings from the 60’s-70’s, was released on what would have been Tristano’s 101st birthday.
One of the most original voices in jazz, Tristano paved the way for modern generations with his groundbreaking innovation and dedication to teaching. Recordings of Lennie Tristano have served as essential listening for jazz fans and musicians alike since his recording debut as a bandleader in 1949. Pianist and teacher Lennie Tristano shaped the future of music to come, developing his singular voice on his instrument by incorporating ideas of freedom and abstraction into his performance. This groundbreaking, unique sound forever changed the common musical vernacular of the jazz musician.
Lennie Tristano’s daughter Carol Tristano exclaims “I am very happy to be working with Dot Time Records for the inclusion of Lennie Tristano in their “Legends Series”. Lennie’s musical legacy is one of beauty and innovation. Combining our resources, we have a treasure trove of previously unreleased music to present to you.” The recordings that make up Lennie Tristano: Duos coincide or are predated by Tristano’s last public appearance in the United States in 1968.
The album features Tristano in a duo context with three of his musical associates. A 1976 recording of Tristano performing duo with pianist Connie Crothers is the only 2-piano free improvisation ever recorded by Tristano. The album also features a 1970 duo recording of Tristano with tenor saxophonist Lenny Popkin and a 1967/1968 recording of Tristano with drummer Roger Mancuso. Both Popkin and Mancuso were long-time collaborators of Tristano’s, both having had performed in the pianist’s last public appearance prior to these recording sessions. These previously unreleased hallmark recordings document the artist’s stellar creative output in his latter days.
"These recordings are more than historic, they fill in gaps and show that the elusive, idiosyncratic pianist continued to follow his vision of pure improvisation. Tristano continues to illustrate one of the paths that jazz could have taken." Full review here.
"Considering his importance and limited recording legacy additional Tristano tracks are worth exposure. But the unfinished nature of some of these won’t covert many neophytes to an appreciation of the pianist’s unique gifts." Full review here.
JAZZ HISTORY ONLINE
"The two-piano meeting with Crothers is called “Concerto” and split into two unequal parts. It is a curious piece, primarily free, and never giving up that style even when straight-ahead swing or slow ballad are set up. I’m not sure anyone will revise their appreciations of Tristano from this CD, but it is a welcome addition to his legacy." Full review here.
"The album’s 16 tracks, recorded after Tristano’s final public appearance in 1968 but never previously released, reveal not only how intuitively the pianist parsed these languages, but how skillfully he crafted improvisational relationships." Full review here.
"...But I hope [people] are intrigued enough give Tristano a try. His playing may not be all things to all people, but the question of whether it touches the heart can only be answered by listening to the music." Full review here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"This album has music that is both accessible for its vintage and classic jazz tones, but also simultaneously completely personal and sui generis, with gray matter oozing out of every choral progression. Check this guy out and broaden your horizons." Full review here.