New Book Contains Chapter On Lennie

General Discussion
Marv Friedenn
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Postby Marv Friedenn » Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:29 am

Yes, no one said touring hurt. But someone did say not touring may have hurt Lennie. Either admit it or deny it or if you're not sure suspend it. BT, when you're cornered, you walk through walls.

Also, I mean "modern" in the 1950s sense of non-traditional. Senior prejudice doesn't make you any younger.

B T
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Postby B T » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:08 am

Marv Friedenn wrote:Yes, no one said touring hurt. But someone did say not touring may have hurt Lennie. Either admit it or deny it or if you're not sure suspend it. BT, when you're cornered, you walk through walls.


The only thing I admit to is over-reacting. I retracted the "duh"s and turned the radio down.

Four years of Cincinnati Radio in the mid fifties is a random sample. What I mean is, plot the airplay of all jazz musicians of note on all US radio stations from about 1950 -1980. You will see what I mean. LT will be at the bottom, even below GS. But I can't prove it. I doubt that even ASCAP keeps such meticulous records. So it must stand as my opinion. That's it. I feel that a fair (fair as in "fairness") amount of airplay could have made all the difference in the world. I could actually be wrong.

Yes, the more public appearances, the better. Fact is, he played more gigs than is generally known. Journalists make it sound like he never left the house after the opening night of Birdland. They even try to take that away from him. How many times have you seen that photo (on the bandstand with Bird and Pres, LT on the far right) reprinted and conveniently cropped?

Marv Friedenn
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Postby Marv Friedenn » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:41 pm

The statistical argument would indeed establish with certainty that Lennie's music was suppressed on radio. But you don't have to go that far. An informed opinion by someone in the music industry would do just as well.

Am I dreaming or did someone on this website or on a link recently report a new history of jazz in which the author devotes fifteen pages to the overdub controversy?!! Anyhow, had I been a dj in the early fifties and played the covertly overdubbed "Ju-ju" and "Passtime" and, having fulsomely praised Lennie's keyboard virtuosity, found out later that the solos had been overdubbed, I'd have felt duped and been reluctant to air any more Tristano.

John LaPorta, who is a sharp critic of Lennie's posturing, witnessed Lennie's response when the subject of overdubbing came up in a friendly conversation with Leonard Bernstein in Lennie's studio. According to John when Leonard asked point blank about a recording of Lennie's recently released by Atlantic (circa 1948 but not named by the author), "'Did you overdub? Your hands would have bumped into each other if you didn't,'" Lennie answered evasively, "'It's all there on the record.'" Apparently the tune was in fact overdubbed. John comments that since "there was no mention on the record cover that Lennie had overdubbed, the listener could assume that the recording was the product of a single take." John continues, "What Lennie was implying by refusing to admit that he had overdubbed was that he had recorded the composition in one take. This would have been an impossible feat. What became questionable was his musical ethics! It was clear to me that the same games were still going on and Tristano had not changed [as Barry Ulanov had assured John that he had]. From that point on Lennie's world had little interest for me!" (PLAYING IT BY EAR, Cadence Jazz Books,page seventy-eight).

If enough dj's felt as put off as John by the restrictions of Lennie's world, then naturally interest in airing Lennie would have diminished no matter how much the music deserved to be heard.

B T
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Postby B T » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:01 pm

The overdubbing thing comes up a lot. If they really felt that way, they could have just boycotted the multitracked records. But its amusing how the same industry puts Les Paul on a pedestal and calls him a genius for doing the very same thing. (And I'm not knocking Les Paul - I caught one of his gigs in NY once and quite enjoyed it.)

Now the whole recording industry operates this way.

The John quote just sounds like sour grapes. "I can't deal with this cat anymore, so I've got to grab this". Just a way out.

Somebody somewhere could have recognized Cm Complex, for instance, which isn't multitracked ...

Marv Friedenn
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Postby Marv Friedenn » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:35 am

BT, there's winning through denial and winning through adoption. One wins through denial by simply brushing aside an opinion you don't share. Each to his or her own opinion, right? Winning through adoption is pretending that the opposed opinion is yours and proving yourself wrong. Would you please adopt John LaPorta's opinion and prove yourself wrong. Consider it an elementary exercise in egolessness.

B T
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Postby B T » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:19 pm

Marv Friedenn wrote:BT, there's winning through denial and winning through adoption. One wins through denial by simply brushing aside an opinion you don't share. Each to his or her own opinion, right? Winning through adoption is pretending that the opposed opinion is yours and proving yourself wrong. Would you please adopt John LaPorta's opinion and prove yourself wrong. Consider it an elementary exercise in egolessness.


An elementary exercise in egolessness ... moi?

I'm still trying to sympathize with your hypothetical 50s DJ:

Hmmm ... here's some solo LT piano. I like it.
The first free group improvs ever ... cool. [no pun intended]
Two horns doubling a line then double timing it in harmony ... wow. [har har]
Hmmm ... overlaying piano lines. Neat! Like painting a picture. No one could ever play that all at once. Kinda like Wolfy writing all those parts for a symphony orchestra ... he could never play all that at once either. Wow, I wanna go home and try this ...

B T
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Postby B T » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:18 am

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The Evil Musician

The EVIL MUSICIAN was hiding out in his SECRET LABORATORY, with all of his SECRET tape machines. "Heh heh heh, I will FOOL THE WORLD!", he laughed to himself with an EVIL grimace. One night he slowly, meticulously, painstakingly recorded beautiful piano tracks one by one, and layered them ALL ON ONE TAPE. The EVIL MUSICIAN subversively slipped this EVIL tape into the hands of a POOR LITTLE UNSUSPECTING INNOCENT DJ. Vigorously rubbing his hands together with glee, the EVIL MUSICIAN was no longer able to contain his thick European accent as he laughed far into the dark and stormy EVIL night.

"AH HA HA HA! I HAF DOOP'T ZEE VORLT!!!"

But there was still hope. Le musicien épuré Mons. Jean Le Poot was ready to leap into action, to bring forth truth and justice to us ALL. He immediately ran to le bouton de panique for he knew this was a job for only ONE MAN ... the most fantastic crimefighter the world has ever known ...

Le Bouton de Panique :arrow: http://danoday.com/chickenman/chickenman.shtml

Marv Friedenn
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Postby Marv Friedenn » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:28 am

Picture the scene. John and Lennie have just talked pleasantly for a couple of hours. When John makes a motion to leave, Lennie asks him to stay to meet Leonard Bernstein who is conducting a piece at Carnegie Hall featuring pianist William Kapell. John agrees to stay. A few minutes later Leonard and William enter with Lee and Warne whom Leonard invited to the concert as his guests. They enter excitedly discussing the concert. So we have an about-to-be world famous conductor who is a devoted fan of Lennie's, a world-class concert pianist, three of Lennie's most creative students and Lennie. What could be friendlier and more engaging than these six gentlemen discussing music! Lennie's new record comes up and Leonard innocently asks him if he overdubbed it. Now, Lennie could either affirm it, deny it or prevaricate. Lennie answers, "It's all there on the record." He chooses to prevaricate. Why he should do so in such a free spirited gathering is hard for me to fathom. Do you understand why?

B T
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Postby B T » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:07 am

Someone that was competitive would naturally interpret LT’s remark as “prevaricationâ€

Marv Friedenn
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Postby Marv Friedenn » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:44 am

The gathering at Lennie's studio occurs BEFORE the overdub is an issue. For the record in question has just been released and few have even heard it not to mention reviewed it. If Leonard Bernstein has acquired a copy, it's because he's an enthusiastic fan of Lennie's. Leonard is aware of the technology. He just wants Lennie to confirm that that's the technology he (Lennie) used. Therefore, since Leonard's motive for asking is probably just friendly interest, like I say, why Lennie prevaricates is more than I can fathom. Surely Leonard Bernstein could be expected to appreciate the music however contrived. In fact the more overdubs the better until the sound approaches the raucus tatoo of a driving rainstorm pelting a tin roof! (Leonard might have thought.)


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