relevance to modern jazz musicians. Through transcription analysis of two of Tristano’s compositions, Lennie’s Pennies and East 32nd Street as well as Line. In the buildup to the transcriptions class I’m teaching at The Nash Allan Chase taught a course on Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano. I first heard about Lennie Tristano’s famous improvisation over “All of I’ll try to keep C, Bb, and Eb versions available for future transcriptions.

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All solos and other exercises had to be sung and internalized by students before being allowed to play them on their instrument. This is when the tristajo played clearly implies a different key than the chord and bass notes might suggest.

Lennie Tristano is remembered for his unique style of jazz piano, his devotion to teaching, and for his love for music and the people around him.

Melody and Solo Structure Tristano had a clear understanding of how the shape of a solo was important to the essence of jazz improvisation.

Tristano Transcriptions

He listened to the player-piano in his home, and by age 4, he could work out playing simple tunes, and by age 10 was fluent at the most popular songs. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Piano students played scalar exercises, with each hand using a separate meter. This is much the same way a person would naturally learn to use the devices needed to absorb a new language syntax, vocabulary, grammar.

This results in a uniformed but logical way of outlining the altered notes of the F7 chord, including the final Bdim7 arpeggio. Example Instead of resolving to Bb major or minor, an extended harmonic progression is created.

Tristano makes the outside key very diatonic or pentatonicteistano solidifies its implied tonality.

This enclosure is part of a series of triplets. The crazy rhythmic stuff at 36 seconds took me days to figure out, and was pretty confusing to write out. At the same time, students were to vividly imagine which fingers they would use. It takes three bars for the polyrhythmic cycle to repeat.


Click here to sign up. The second one, a C major 9 arpeggio, resolves the tension of the D minor 7 flat 5, flat 9 arpeggio. NEC has a lot of unique coursework made possible by the large jazz department and the experimental nature of the curriculum.

Side-Stepping Tristano frequently used the common device trisyano as side-slipping, or side-stepping. Lennie Tristano preferred that his students learned to use complex harmony and especially dense dominant chords when approaching the chord of resolution.

My transcription is mostly based on the performance from the Half Note in with Lee and Warne. Skip to main content. This one is from my time at New England Conservatory. It took me a long time to get through a song like that, playing quarter trisyano on the bass. The second bar begins with a 4 note enclosure that targets the Ab note on beat 3. The first step was lfnnie sing the solo along with the recording and visualize playing it on their instrument as they sing the pitches. This is a somewhat insane challenge for horn players as there is very little opportunity to breath.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The bottom note was to also create a simple melody when possible.

A Horizontal Search, by Kevin Sun: Lennie Tristano on “Line Up”

Aside from the obvious technical rewards of having to carefully and accurately notate the specifics of rhythm and pitch, I have the student write out the solo so that it can be analyzed and used for further study. C harmonic minor scale ascending in tenths, in groups of fours. It was also a location kennie jam sessions and weekly concerts where aspiring students had an opportunity to perform what they were working on. In contrast to the tri-tone substitution, this type of alteration changed other notes in the chord, affecting the quality, but leaving the root the same.

In addition, this exercise sharpened the ability to transpose and further aided in the process of improvising on the chord changes of a song.


These enclosures make up a unique pattern that acts as a sequence that moves downward by fifths.

He is recognized for his mathematical approach to improvisation, and that of his most celebrated students Lee Kontiz, Warne Marsh, Bille Bauerwho all had their own takes on his ideas. In this example, Gmin11 b5 is preceded by a dominant chord a semitone higher, Ab This was done by a rigorous method of ear training and technical practice, at a harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic level.

Who is online Users browsing this forum: Radio Broadcast, New York. I love the restraint and purity of sound achieved on the original recording from the Capitol sextet recordings with Lennie, Lee, Warne, and Billy Bauer.

This can easily fool the listener into thinking they are hearing a uniform set of 16th notes. Jazz Research Journal, Along with multi-tracking, he altered the recording tape speed to speed up the recordings.

Tristano instructed that scales were to be played with feeling, and that notes played should really sink into the keyboard, and to hear each note fully and cleanly. And I need to stain or finish my end pin.

Not only does it shift in harmony, the shape is nearly identical to the previous phrase of 6 quarter notes. For this reason, it is essential to listen to Lennie Tristano’s original version, found on “The New Tristano”, released on the Atlantic label. My favorite version is from the Half Note with Lee and Warne in Tristano expanded the harmonic vocabulary of jazz improvisation with this album.

To me, jazz is a feeling. With some patience, you should be able to find it. By creating exercises that forced the hand into new positions, students learned to play with an teanscription intensity and tone, no matter tirstano finger was used to play the note.

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