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Listen to samples of Lennie Tristano's music from this book...


Lennie's Pennies

317 E 32nd

Jazz Lines by Lennie Tristano


Songs Included:
Lennie's Pennies
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Leave Me
It's You
All About You
317 East 32nd

The music in this book was written from the standpoint of an "improvising feeling". In order to play it as I heard it when composing, it would have to be played with the same feeling with which I improvise.

This is also true of the lines and choruses of other jazz musicians; for example, in order to play Bird's lines as he meant them to be played, one would need to approximate as closely as possible Bird's playing feeling. This has been done with varying degrees of success by many musicians, who familiarized themselves with his feeling as evidenced on records and in his in-person performances.

The intangibles of feeling, which have a high degree of importance in re-creating any jazz performance, unfortunately cannot be written into the music. Thus a perfectly correct performance as far as duplication of the notes is concerned, might have little emotional meaning in terms of the original conception of the jazz musician-writer.

It is not a matter of time, nor dynamics, or accents, all of which can be written down. It is not even a matter of phrasing, though all of these elements are utilized by the jazz musician as he creates his line, and fashions the essentials of his own playing, that is improvising feeling. In the music in this book, I might suggest that particular attention be given to the phrasing inherent in the music itself, which frequently does not fall into the more usual 2 or 4-bar phrases, and may being and/or end within the divisions of beats rather than on the beats.

But ultimately, for a musically and emotionally valid performance of this music, the performer must play with something very close to my own playing feeling.

Lennie Tristano
December 1958


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