The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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70                             THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
edge that was foreign to jazz until the advent of bop; the influence of Tatum also is discernible. Though not comparable with Brubeck in intellectual approach and appeal, nor with Garner in wit and originality, Peterson is the great neutralist of the new jazz, technically impeccable and a masterful rhythm section generator.
Lennie Tristano is the complete heretic of modern jazz piano. Where Brubeck has catapulted an intellectual approach into aggressive musical statement and limitless commercial success, Tristano has preferred to withdraw from jazz society. Limiting his audience to students, patrons of the New York studio that has been his bastion since 1951, he has been to the introvert of jazz what Brubeck is to the extrovert, drawing long, lean horizontal lines from the harmonic experimentation that has lent a quiet, cerebral originality to his work. Tristano's recordings are as provocative as they are infrequent. Though he names Bud Powell as the most important of his contemporaries, he owes allegiance to none. Tristano, in a sense, is a composer and generic influence rather than a pianist, for saxophonists and even drumĀ­mers have benefited from an examination of his rhythmic and harmonic ideation.
The piano inevitably has attracted many musicians who are principally known as arrangers, or as soloists on other instruĀ­ments. In the latter class Bix Beiderbecke was the first of value: It was as a composer-pianist that he recorded In A Mist, his best-known legacy. Men who have ennobled the jazz pantheon as arrangers, from Fletcher Henderson through Tadd Dameron to Gerry Mulligan, have surmounted technical limitations as pianists to offer solos of piquant quality. Lionel Hampton, applying the two-mallet vibraphone technique to the piano keyboard, has recorded some astonishing passages using simply the middle fingers of both hands in lightning succession. Vibraphonists Milt Jackson and Teddy Charles have recorded as pianists in the modern, horizontal-line idiom,
What lies in the future for jazz piano can no more be predicted with certainty than the next phase in jazz itself. Out of the immense variety of approaches among the more recent talents there may be one who will develop his ideas into a style that