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  1. #1

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    I'm trying to find some guitarists that come out of the Tristano school. I know about Billy Bauer, but I'm curious if there are more out there. Even modern players, or students of students, like people that studied and were influenced heavily by Lee Konitz or Connie Crothers or something.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    This guy wrote a book about his studies with Warne Marsh, it’s worth reading.

    John Klopotowski, Jazz Guitarist and Author in Oakland, CA

  4. #3

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    Dave Cliff!!!

  5. #4

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    Larry Koonse in LA.


  6. #5

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    cheers

  7. #6
    There was Pete Prisco. He was a student of Sal Mosca who was one of Lennies prominent students. Also some guy named I think Larry Meyers who was one of Lennies students.
    Connie Caruthers was pretty out as I recall.


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  8. #7

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    Can't tell you hardly anything about Lennie, but I took about 10 lessons with Connie Crothers, an amazing musician and human spirit who sadly passed about 3 years ago.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David B View Post
    Larry Koonse in LA.

    Nice Borys guitar, I had one of those pass through my hands a few years ago.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    This guy wrote a book about his studies with Warne Marsh, it’s worth reading.

    John Klopotowski, Jazz Guitarist and Author in Oakland, CA
    Thanks for the tip - I read some excerpts and it looks good...educational and entertaining. I ordered one. I love jazz biography books.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by David B View Post
    Larry Koonse in LA.

    Since I'm in So Cal, I have seen Larry Koonse many times. Larry helps keep be 'honest' in that he plays a lot of new material (E.g. songs written by his band mates (LA Jazz Quartet) or not-often-played "standards"). I.e. songs I don't know the 'changes' to and thus I have to really focus.

    Koonse's use of chords in his solos is what I find most interesting.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidec View Post
    I'm trying to find some guitarists that come out of the Tristano school. I know about Billy Bauer, but I'm curious if there are more out there. Even modern players, or students of students, like people that studied and were influenced heavily by Lee Konitz or Connie Crothers or something.
    There's quite a few, but most you've probably never heard of because they don't play out much. I used to know some of them back in the day when I was into that music.
    Mark DiOrio, Fred Crisson, come to mind. I remember Peter Prisco, too.
    Look up Zinnia records.

    More notably, Josh Breakstone used to play with Warne Marsh.
    I remember Peter Bernstein, when he was starting out in the 80's, playing at loft gigs that people from the Tristano "scene" were doing, too.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    Thanks for the tip - I read some excerpts and it looks good...educational and entertaining. I ordered one. I love jazz biography books.
    John's very generous, he practically has the entire book, and all his albums on his 'samples'. That piano player he plays with is a bitch. I hope he's giving away his stuff for free, too. I exchanged emails with JK when he was on rmmgj ages ago. We both went to the same school and studied with some of the same people. Great musician and great guy.

  14. #13

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    It is one of my favourite books about jazz...

    I like the two octave scales too... C# on a Cmaj7 :-)

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzVocab View Post
    Nice Borys guitar, I had one of those pass through my hands a few years ago.
    The sound he got out of that thing on the LA Quartet albums was the reason why I bought both of my Borys guitars.
    Like Larry, I also use .011s on my B120. Roger doesn't like it, and calls us a couple of 'speed demons'.

  16. #15

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    There's a renown guitarist, educator named Woody Mann who actually trained for a while with Tristano.

    He plays/teaches more country blues from 1930's on, along with performing originals, some of which are inspired by older jazz guitarists ( Eddie Lang etc ) and was involved in Attila Zoller's last CD Lasting Love Attila Zoller - Lasting Love (Solo Guitar) (1997, CD) | Discogs

    Here's his site: woody mann – BLUES, JAZZ and AMERICAN ROOTS

  17. #16

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    of course there's billy b's own...music minus one session of sorts...from 1955...as the cover suggests...pick up your horn and blow




    cheers

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    of course there's billy b's own...music minus one session of sorts...from 1955...as the cover suggests...pick up your horn and blow




    cheers
    So this is a recording of backing tracks for musicians to solo over?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    So this is a recording of backing tracks for musicians to solo over?
    right...be your own tristano disciple!! hah

    there was a thread about it on the forum, but i can't find with search

    cheers

  20. #19

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    Bizarrely , Joe Satriani studied with Tristano .

  21. #20

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    So did Billy Joel

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith View Post
    There's a renown guitarist, educator named Woody Mann who actually trained for a while with Tristano.

    He plays/teaches more country blues from 1930's on, along with performing originals, some of which are inspired by older jazz guitarists ( Eddie Lang etc ) and was involved in Attila Zoller's last CD Lasting Love Attila Zoller - Lasting Love (Solo Guitar) (1997, CD) | Discogs

    Here's his site: woody mann – BLUES, JAZZ and AMERICAN ROOTS
    Woody's a great guy, played with a bass player friend of mine on his Harlem Street Singer project. I got to spend some time with him when we showed the film at my wife's theater. He's more about the Rev. Gary Davis influence, though, not Lennie.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft
    Bizarrely , Joe Satriani studied with Tristano .
    I know a few people that studied with Lennie. Apparently he was very open minded about music. Loved the Jackson Five ! Supported women in Jazz. I’m not surprised that Satriani studied with him. There was a lot to learn so long as you didn’t get involved in the cult BS.


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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    of course there's billy b's own...music minus one session of sorts...from 1955...as the cover suggests...pick up your horn and blow




    cheers
    interesting! Didn’t know this idea predated Aerbersold. Do you have any more info?

  25. #24

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    Don’t know about the Billy Bauer record, but the ‘music minus one’ records started in 1950 and apparently included some jazz:

    Music Minus One - Wikipedia

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    interesting! Didn’t know this idea predated Aerbersold. Do you have any more info?
    Music minus one records, though aimed mostly at classical started 1950
    (so says google). Curious if anything earlier existed.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    interesting! Didn’t know this idea predated Aerbersold. Do you have any more info?
    Music minus one records, though aimed mostly at classical started 1950
    (so says google). Curious if anything earlier existed.

  28. #27

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    liner notes


    When I was asked to write "liner-notes" about this record, I hesitated. What does one write about liner-notes ? Who reads them anyway ? Perhaps because this disc is such an unusual one someone may read these notes. I examinated other liner-notes of the backs of other records jackets. These run the gamut from serious-sounding pedantry to ridiculously boastful blurbs. So, what can I tell about this record ?
    Should I mention that Charlie Mack, owner of Ad Lib Records, is a nice guy with a burning desire to produce a fine background record using the combined efforts of several of the best rhythm-men in the business ? Should I inform you that you can blow or sing to your heart's content against a bckground of modern progressions on some of the best jazz-tunes ?
    What can I tell you about Billy Bauer the leader of this group ? Billy probably came to your attention first as guitarist with one of Woody Herman's greatest herds in the early forties. Later he achieved even greater prominence as a soloist and contrapuntal collaborator with Lennie Tristano. Billy won the Metronome All Star Poll for five consecutive years and the Downbeat for two.
    What about Don Lamond ? Don is a very versatile drummer who also played with Woody. Don lays down a beat for you as he has for all of the great musicians with whom he has played.
    The pianist with this group is Tony ALess. He is anoter Woody Hermann alumnus, who has played with more bands and combos than I could list on this whole liner.
    Do I need to tell you anything about Arnold Fishkin ? He has been on the jazz scene for many years. Arnold has in recent years played and recorded with both Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz. If you dig his bass line on these sides they will tell you all you need to know about him.
    The tunes on this record [...] are played in the keys used by most jazz musicians. You can have a session all by yourself or with your driends any time you wish. Most of all, wether you dig hi, low, or no fi, you ought to get plenty of sheer pleasure out of this record and the idea behind it !
    Michael Tristan (from the original liner notes)

    Billy Bauer
    Let's Have a Session

    Tracks

    1 Somebody Loves Me (Gershwin) 2:38
    2 September in the Rain (Dubin, Warren) 2:59
    3 Ghost of a Chance (Young) 3:07
    4 'S Wonderfull (Gershwin, Gershwin) 2:28
    5 Easy Walkin' Blues (Bauer) 2:52
    6 Out of Nowhere (Heyman, Green) 2:42
    7 These Foolish Things (Maschwitz, Strachey) 3:16
    8 (Back Home In) Indiana (Hanley) 2:22


    *

    Personnel
    Billy Bauer - g
    Tony Aless - p
    Arnold Fishkin - b
    Don Lamond - dr

    Recorded in New York City ; April 1955


    cheers

    ps- it was reissued as a twofer cd with bauers only solo lp-plectrist- by fresh sound records

    https://www.freshsoundrecords.com/bi...-quartets.html

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.trapanese View Post
    I know a few people that studied with Lennie. Apparently he was very open minded about music. Loved the Jackson Five ! Supported women in Jazz. I’m not surprised that Satriani studied with him. There was a lot to learn so long as you didn’t get involved in the cult BS.


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    I am not all familiar with Tristano, but curious to hear what you mean with cult BS? Apparently he had die-hard followers or so?

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Music minus one records, though aimed mostly at classical started 1950
    (so says google). Curious if anything earlier existed.
    This is yet another area where Tristano was hugely influential on later jazz education ideas.

    Others had a bit more of a marketing shtick though? Or maybe these idea’s time had not yet come?

  31. #30

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    Although I feel obliged to post this


  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
    I am not all familiar with Tristano, but curious to hear what you mean with cult BS? Apparently he had die-hard followers or so?
    Tristano seemed to be on a power trip of some kind. He refused to let his disciples play with anyone who didn't follow his beliefs.
    When Lee Konitz took the gig with Stan Kenton, he was ostracized from the Tristano community. The Tristano robots posted above really existed.
    I met many of them back in the 70s. Jimmy Raney talked about them in Chicago in that essay he wrote that someone posted here.

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
    I am not all familiar with Tristano, but curious to hear what you mean with cult BS? Apparently he had die-hard followers or so?
    I studied with Sal Mosca for almost five years. He was one of Lennies main students and had a cult following of his own which exists today. Playing the same 20 tunes, the same heads written 70 years ago. There were guys who talked like him, smoked the same cigarettes, tried to sound like him. Lennie had the same following. Not everyone was a “robot” but there were many. I remember Barry Galbraith once saying that his problem with the Tristano school was that it felt like a crime to play a blues lick.
    Kind of funny. I didn’t allow myself to get sucked in. I learned and got the hell out.
    Think of Indian cult Gurus but with piano and jazz rather than yoga a a nd meditation! Looking for Guitarists out of the Tristano school

  34. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Although I feel obliged to post this

    Haha! Yes. A good friend of mine wrote that. Pretty right on.


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  35. #34

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    nice tristano positive overview by great musician and music scholar-ethan iverson...very nicely researched and presented as always...his dtm site is a treasure trove of info

    Tristano at 100 | DO THE M@TH

    cheers

  36. #35

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    Hmm... I feel I should mention the cult like aspect in my next essay. Music education is full of cults. Kodaly, El Sistema, Edwin Gordon, Estill Voicecraft.... All contain great ideas on their own but people get locked into them..

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Tristano seemed to be on a power trip of some kind. He refused to let his disciples play with anyone who didn't follow his beliefs.
    When Lee Konitz took the gig with Stan Kenton, he was ostracized from the Tristano community. The Tristano robots posted above really existed.
    I met many of them back in the 70s. Jimmy Raney talked about them in Chicago in that essay he wrote that someone posted here.
    Quote Originally Posted by paul.trapanese
    I studied with Sal Mosca for almost five years. He was one of Lennies main students and had a cult following of his own which exists today. Playing the same 20 tunes, the same heads written 70 years ago. There were guys who talked like him, smoked the same cigarettes, tried to sound like him. Lennie had the same following. Not everyone was a “robot” but there were many. I remember Barry Galbraith once saying that his problem with the Tristano school was that it felt like a crime to play a blues lick.
    Kind of funny. I didn’t allow myself to get sucked in. I learned and got the hell out.
    Think of Indian cult Gurus but with piano and jazz rather than yoga a a nd meditation!
    Oof, that sounds awful and I think I get the picture now. Before making my "comeback" with guitar this year, I have been more active with salsa dancing than music for a while. You encounter similar attitudes with some dance teachers and schools. Some schools basically forbid you from taking classes with other teachers, dance school politics is no joke. So the Tristano thing sounds too familiar.

    Funny you mention Galbraith, I really should order his Bach book.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Haha, I had totally forgotten the existence of these!

  38. #37

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    Yeah it’s such bullshit. I had the same thing with singing teachers. The way they behave it’s like they pay you.

    Ethan (above) made some interesting points above. I think Tristano’s approach has become massively influential on current jazz edu, for instance the approach to rhythm.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.trapanese View Post
    Haha! Yes. A good friend of mine wrote that. Pretty right on.


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    I know that friend.. I will keep his ID a secret!

  40. #39

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    My teacher, Ed Paolantonio (an excellent bebop pianist) studied with Lennie Tristano for ~5 years. Ed still teaches using the method that he learned from Lennie, and this is how Ed taught me. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

    folks really into the Tristano school can be a bit... peculiar sometimes? Not sure how to say it. Anyways, Ed was very pragmatic and not really like this at all.

    I studied with Ed for 4 years, and we'd have a 30 minute lesson every week. The lesson would consist of:

    - Scales played as a polyrhythm (different one each week, 3 octaves)

    - Harmonized scales to a particular voicing, one per week. So for guitar I'd take a voicing like 1-5-7-3 and be able to play any harmonic minor, melodic minor, or major scale using this voicing, usually 1-2 octaves depending on the key and voicing. Ed was a pianist and didn't know anything about guitar, so we'd choose voicings together.

    - Learn the melody and be able to play just the melody, expressively, to one new standard a week.

    - Work out a harmonic acccompaniment to one standard a week, using a harmonic system that Ed taught me that used the voicings we had covered and a few rules around that (usually I picked last week's tune from the above).

    - Singing a solo, either charlie christian or charlie parker: for the first couple years I did charlie christian, 12 solos of sing it with record, without record, then play on instrument.

    For the scales and chords, Ed would just randomly quiz me for 5 minutes to make sure I could play any scale he asked with the polyrhythm perfectly, and harmonize any scale with the voicing. I'd play the melody to the standard I learned, he'd talk about shaping the tune, dynamics, all that. I'd play my harmonic accompaniment and he'd make comments, show me where it didn't support the melody, etc. And then I'd sing my solo of the week.

    We'd then play tunes and improvise with any time remaining.

    I did this in college while going to school full time, gigging 3-4 nights/week and working on the side as a programmer to pay my rent, so it was a lot of work, but definitely transformed my playing from sounding like someone interested in jazz, to a real jazz musician.

    As I said I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. Obviously I didn't study with Lennie himself, but, this is the method Lennie used, more or less.

  41. #40

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    Ethan (above) made some interesting points above. I think Tristano’s approach has become massively influential on current jazz edu, for instance the approach to rhythm.
    Please elaborate. Tristano, while achieving a degree of fame at one point
    is now a fairly obscure figure, rarely referenced or listened to.
    I am guessing you are talking about the playing across the bar line stuff
    for which there are so many possible sources of inspiration other than
    Lennie. What other current jazz ed. content reflects his massive influence?

  42. #41

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    I was a student of Lennie’s for a few months in 1976 (maybe 10 lessons). I was also a student of Billy Bauer’s off and on from the mid 1970’s through mid 1980’s (total “on” time probably about 3 - 4 years). I got a lot out of my lessons with Lennie but decided to continue with Billy and stopped with Lennie. Though Billy played with Lennie a lot, he was not a strict adherent to the “Tristano School”. He did his own thing, played with a wide variety of musicians, and had his own methods of teaching which were much more guitar specific.

    I used to play with players on the Tristano “scene” who were either students of Lennie or one of his protégés like Connie Crothers. There was a favored repertoire and favored artists (Bird, Prez, Charlie Christian, Billy Holiday, Wes etc.) so you could say there was a certain orthodoxy, but I wouldn’t say it was cult like any more than fans of other bands or musicians (I knew fans of the Grateful Dead in high school who were much closer to being cult like - one guy I knew followed them on their tour from one concert to the next across the country!). The strong following was a good thing because it would sustain clubs hiring these musicians knowing the faithful would come out to hear them.

    In any event, I eventually moved on from the scene, and escaped without an intervention .
    Last edited by RobbieAG; 06-29-2020 at 06:14 PM.

  43. #42

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    RobbieAG,

    When I took some lessons with Connie, we split our playing time between standards and free playing. Although highly opinionated, she was also
    incredibly open minded, an all around great listener, musically and personally.
    I always chose the standards to play although when it came to singing solos, she also favored Lester, Billie and Louis Hot 5. I did several Lester and
    one Bird solo before a dental situation eliminated all discretionary funds
    and I had to stop.

    When you played together, did you play standards or free.
    She was very connected to the NYC improvisors community.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Please elaborate. Tristano, while achieving a degree of fame at one point
    is now a fairly obscure figure, rarely referenced or listened to.
    I am guessing you are talking about the playing across the bar line stuff
    for which there are so many possible sources of inspiration other than
    Lennie. What other current jazz ed. content reflects his massive influence?
    Perhaps it's a bigger direct influence here in the UK. The line goes down through Peter Ind, who taught Dave Cliff among many UK jazz musicians. Leeds College of Music.

    It seems from accounts that Tristano's approach was very pedagogical. It had a clear step by step approach concerned with quantifiable, assessable outcomes. In some ways it 'squares the circle' between teaching the less measurable aspects of jazz (esp. audiation) and something where students and teachers can measure progress. That's pretty hard to do.

    As a result, it, or some bastardised version of it, was always going to be a good fit for formal education. It sounds like Lennie's approach remained pretty standard throughout his students (Dave Cliff teaches the same stuff too). And we can certainly see stuff like the basic scale syllabus or irregular groupings forming a large part of the basic practice approaches of many contemporary players.

    I'm not 100% certain if I am in favour of pedagogy with respect to jazz (well, since starting my degree in education I'd say actually I'm about 60-70% against teaching in general) but if you have to do actual teaching you could do far worse than go through the Tristano approach, which as others have commented is open enough to allow many musical directions.

    I wouldn't agree that Tristano is obscure in jazz circles. Certainly in jazz education circles he'll always be a seminal figure, along with Sandole, Harris, Banacos etc

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    RobbieAG,
    When you played together, did you play standards or free.
    With Lennie, we never played together. The lessons were 20 minutes so there wasn't much time. He had me working on scales in all keys (major and minor, full range of instrument in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 notes etc., slow good time, no accenting), memorizing melodies, and singing to a solo (Charlie Christian). He preferred all down strokes. I guess he felt since that's what Charlie Christian did, that was the way to go for guitar. I was looking at my notes and it was in Oct/Nov 1975. I only have notes for 5 lessons, so apparently that's all I took. I was a student in college at the time, so economics were an issue.

  46. #45

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    John Klopotowski says in his book that when he had lessons with Warne Marsh, Warne said he insisted on all his guitar pupils playing only with downstrokes. The reason was to get an even sound on all notes, apparently.

  47. #46

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    Those Tristano Robots crack me up and make me wince at the same time. If that's still happening 35+ years after I experienced the cult thing, I feel especially bad.

    I was not a full-on "disciple", but I was involved enough to realize later that the "scene" had a real negative impact on my formative years as both a musician and a young person trying to make life choices. I loved the music, but I grew much more as a musician and a person when I got away from it and broadened my horizons.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    .....- Scales played as a polyrhythm (different one each week, 3 octaves) .....
    Can you elaborate on this ?

    I'm fascinated by Tristano and his school , he really was sui generis , a true original .

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ
    Those Tristano Robots crack me up and make me wince at the same time. If that's still happening 35+ years after I experienced the cult thing, I feel especially bad.

    I was not a full-on "disciple", but I was involved enough to realize later that the "scene" had a real negative impact on my formative years as both a musician and a young person trying to make life choices. I loved the music, but I grew much more as a musician and a person when I got away from it and broadened my horizons.
    Good move! Me too!
    And some of the Tristano-ites, that I know of still play the same heads, same tunes in the same way. No evolution. To me, that’s the antithesis of Jazz. Where is the forward movement? Lateral movement? Any movement?


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  50. #49

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    Found this, perhaps of interest to some here:

    https://www.oscarvandillen.com/wp-co...tan-Polgar.pdf

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    Can you elaborate on this ?

    I'm fascinated by Tristano and his school , he really was sui generis , a true original .
    Yes, so we'd pick a ratio, one per week. 1:2, 1:3, 2:3, 2:5 etc. Say we pick 2:3. So I'd need to be able to play every scale, 3 octaves, playing 2 notes for every 3 clicks and 3 notes for every 2 clicks, with the metronome very very slow (generally 40bpm or similar). Pianists would do this with each hand in a different rhythm but this is obviously not practical for guitar.

    Ed told me that Lennie taught this so you'd become very flexible pushing and pulling with time, and playing rhythmic games and such. Lennie loved Billie Holiday's phrasing apparently, and really wanted people to be able to be very free with a melody, and not as locked in. Ed always said that Lennie really idolized great ballad players, and really put an emphasis on playing ballads well.

    Does this help?