I shall be simple. There are two new CDs out, both recorded November 2018, with Ted Brown, tenor saxophone; Brad Linde, tenor saxophone; Aaron Quinn, guitar; Don Pappalardo, string bass; Deric Dickens, drums. One is called JAZZ OF NEW CITIES; the other, ALL ABOUT LENNIE (wordplay on venerable jazz classics). Both CDs are greatly rewarding and people who love this particular music will want to acquire them.
You can listen to JAZZ OF NEW CITIES here and purchase a digital copy for $15; you can do the same for ALL ABOUT LENNIE here, same price tag. Downloads or discs are available at CD Baby here and here. And, as Brad writes here, “some streaming services.” I also know that both Brad and Ted will have a few physical copies at gigs, about which more below*.
Or, simply, immerse yourself in STAR DUST:
Hearing that performance, I must say again that those who call the music made by Lennie Tristano, colleagues, and acolytes “cold” are listening with some other part of their anatomy than their ears. I hear a direct line to Lester or Pee Wee Russell and of course Louis at their most soulful.
These CDs are immediately memorable to me in their deep intricate simplicities — like watching a master Japanese brush painter do with five strokes what a lesser painter would take weeks of canvas-covering to attempt and then not convince us at all. I hear quiet tenderness in STAR DUST, and the meeting of souls — not only the five players on this disc, but this music reaches out of the speaker and hugs us.
As gentle a creator and person as Ted is, it will surprise no one that these CDs are egalitarian affairs: he might solo first for a few choruses, then the beautifully nimble Aaron Quinn might follow, then an eloquent solo by Brad, then some wonderfully twining counterpoint for two tenors. That rhythm section, not incidentally, is propulsive but kind: Dickens, Pappalardo, and Quinn deserve their own CD, which I would buy: they make beautiful sounds and propel the band without being aggressive about it.
And for something more assertive, here’s LOVER, COME BACK TO ME:
I won’t offer a track-by-track summary, for this music doesn’t need such a thing if hearts and ears are open to it: it is based on aural breezes, uplifting without being self-conscious. I haven’t listened to all the tracks because it seemed both urgent and hopeful for me to inform you about these discs now.
*Moving from “now” to “soon,” Ted Brown — born December 1, 1927 — please do the calculations — has a New York City gig in a few weeks: Wednesday, October 16 at Jazz at Kitano from 8 to 11 PM. Ted will be joined by Michael Kanan, piano; Murray Wall, string bass; Taro Okamoto, drums. Details and tickets here. I’m sure Ted would autograph copies of the discs for you.
Right now, I am going to return to the pleasure of discovering this music, one track at a time, lovingly, the spirit in which it was created. To quote Robert Frost, “You come, too.” It would make all of us — the band and me — happy to see many people at the Kitano gig, either bearing CDs or the money to purchase them.
May your happiness increase!