Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Too often the least heralded icon in the jazz Pantheon, Lennie Tristano was, in this one-time jazz pianist's humble opinion, second only to Thelonious Monk in his unique blend of jazz piano tradition(s) and one-of-a-kind originality.

Thanks to my friend Doc Burke for sending a link to this timeless performance of the '40s standard "Tangerine" by Tristano, who was blind and in this clip was his usual inexpressive physical self (compared to other blind piano geniuses like Ray Charles or George Shearing et. al.) except for his hands, more expressive than almost any pianist I can think of, like they're independent creatures not playing piano but dancing over the keys.


tom said...

Enjoyed this and needed it at the end of the day.

-K- said...

It's a little bit of a clunky phrase but I'm hearing "life-affirming." Some melancholy low notes but overall, upbeat.

And as someone with no manual dexterity whatsoever, just seeing those fingers move is a treat.

Lally said...

Isn't it? His music was always a test for me when I was a young man. I'd put on a record of his and see the reaction of whatever woman I was dating for the first time or at least had back at my "pad" for the first time. If they got confused or wrinkled their noses or wanted me to take it off, bye bye. Ah, them's was the days.