Monday, September 24, 2012

Lesson #27: Lennie Tristano Inspired ii-V-i

In this week's lesson we are taking a look at Lennie Tristano, one of my favorite jazz pianists.  Although he has somewhat of a cult status amongst jazz fans, Tristano's music has been making a resurgence over the past couple of years.  This hilarious video mocks this recent resurgence and idol like worship from many young jazz students.

Idol worship aside, Tristano's music really did push the boundaries of what was possible for improvisation.  He also holds a long list of "firsts." These list includes the first use of tape looping (long before the Beatles), first Jazz musician to experiment heavily with polyrhythm/polytonality, first person to codify a method to teach improvisation, and first person to record and perform live a "free" improvisation piece.  It's easy to see why young explorative players have become so infatuated with his methods and music.  Count me down as one of them.

The line I wrote out for this week's lesson is inspired by Lennie's recording of G Minor Complex (You'd be so Nice to Come Home To) and C Minor Complex (Pennies from Heaven in a minor key).  Check them out here:  G Minor Complex and C Minor Complex.

How to practice this line:
1) Work out fingerings if needed.  If you struggle with technique, it will be almost impossible to learn these lines adequately.
2)  Play the line without singing slowly with the metronome.
3)  Play and sing.
4)  "Ghost" the right hand and sing while playing a simple voicing or the written bass line.
5)  Sing the melody away from the instrument
6)  Repeat in all 12 keys!

YouTube Lesson:  Lesson #27 Lennie Tristano Inspired ii-V-i
Scribd PDF:  Lesson #27 .pdf
-  to print and download click the "purchase" button to the right of the PDF
SoundColoud Play-Along:
I hope you enjoyed this free jazz piano lesson.  If you would like more jazz piano lessons, join my site to the left or "subscribe" on youtube for weekly updates.  If you want to keep the jazz piano lessons coming please consider donating to my site or purchasing a copy of my album.  Thanks for all the support!

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