LENNIE TRISTANO | LEE KONITZ | WARNE MARSH - The Complete Atlantic Recordings of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh (1997) 6CD | FLAC (tracks+.cue), lossless

Pianist Lennie Tristano was an early inspiration and a major influence on the playing of altoist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh. Their very notable and highly original Capitol recordings of 1949 -- with the quiet metronomic rhythm section, advanced melodic improvising, and reharmonizations -- stood apart from the typical bop of the period. By 1955, when the earliest performances on this 1997 limited-edition, six-CD set were recorded, the trio was not working together very often; in fact, Tristano was mostly functioning as a teacher, only surfacing for occasional records and club dates. Despite the title of the box, Tristano, Konitz, and Marsh never all appeared on the same Atlantic record. However, their individual projects and collaborations during the era were of consistently high quality. Included on the set are a live quartet date with Konitz and Tristano, a couple of the pianist's solo and trio sessions (including a few controversial items where he overdubbed and even sped up piano parts), several Konitz quartet sets (with such sidemen as pianists Sal Mosca and Jimmy Rowles, and guitarist Billy Bauer), a Marsh trio/quartet album, and a stimulating meeting between Konitz and Marsh (with Mosca and Bauer) in a sextet. Four of the performances were previously unreleased, and one of the Konitz albums was formerly only available in Japan. Although the inventive music often utilizes familiar chord changes, there are plenty of surprises in the cool-toned solos, and this is well worth acquiring by bop collectors. Scott Yanow
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