In 1951 Tristano launched his Jazz Records label with two overdubbed improvisations, Juju and Passtime. They are the only two recorded Tristano improvisations I know of that are meant to exhibit unequivocally the equality and independence of left and right hands. In each improvisation he produces two contrapuntal streams of sound spontaneously converging on and diverging from one another like rivers falling through space. Although artifically produced, the improvisations give the impression of being among America's natural wonders. So, naturally one wonders why he didn't continue to record more of them? Rejection of overdubbing as a legitimate means of expression? Not at all, since the reviewers were unaware of the overdubbing, which was new then. Otherwise, they would have condemned it as contrived in spite of Tristano's success at expressing artificially an ideal of equality which, being utopian, rarely exists. The brutal truth is that America doesn't want to hear the living, provocative sound of equality. I don't mean the rich and powerful don't want to hear it. I mean the entire jazz audience turns a deaf ear to it. Integration, civil rights, yes, but not the slightest insinuation of egalitarian society is allowed. That's because the rich will never surrender their hegemony without an all out civil war. And the poor will never relinquish their pride in being worth deceiving.
On "Juju" and "Passtime" Tristano's mechanically contrived "hands" are equally actual; not one actual and the other matter-of-factual. Both make melody as if melody is the natural birthright of each. Traditionally, the right hand dominates the left; the right hand "sings," the left hand keeps time, holding up harmonic prompt cards which the right hand recites. Traditionally the right hand, as it were, owns the improvisation. The left hand works for it: a walking bass; a hand in disgrace. Simply put, the hands represent social classes. The right hand, like the wealthy class, generates the ideas that allow it to maintain its position at the cutting edge of the improvisation. The left hand, like the poor, provides the "legs" which bear the weight of the improvisation. Tristano's 1965 Copenhagan concert, brilliant as it is, by the very fact that the left hand consistently services the right,indicates that Tristano has succumbed to America. Eruptive and probing as always (oops, out of space!) Marv Friedenn
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In 1951, Tristano established a school of jazz in New York, the first of its kind. Its workforce comprised of a Assignment Writing Help significant number of his most unmistakable understudies
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