1999 - Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano

Magazine articles and newspaper references to Lennie Tristano.
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Location: Chicago, Illinois

1999 - Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano

Postby keith » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:15 pm

If you're interested in a pretty detailed analysis of Lennie, contact Eunmi Shim. Lennie was the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation. There's a link a the bottom to her email, her website is at:


where you'll find information on ordering yourself a copy.

Here's the abstract from her website:

Eunmi Shim, Ph.D.
School of Music
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999
Lawrence Gushee, Adviser


Lennie Tristano was a pioneering jazz musician who, through a succession of innovations, transgressed the boundaries of jazz as well as conventional style categories of jazz history; as a result, his music represents a rare achivement of individuality. For example, in 1949 he made the first recordings of free jazz, a new manner of group improvisation based on spontaneous interaction among band members without any regard to predetermined form, harmony, or rhythm, which predate the free jazz movement by a decade. In the 1950s his use of multi-tracking became a ground-breaking landmark in jazz history; through mixing tracks recorded separately, he could produce unprecedented sounds as exemplified by "Line Up, "Turkish Mambo," and "Descent Into the Maelstrom," the last of which is a remarkable sound structure based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. In general, Tristano contributed to the extension of concepts and practices of jazz in terms of advanced harmonic language, rhythmic complexity, and linear construction of the melody. His solo recordings on The New Tristano album, in particular, exhibit the emotional depth and power he attained through these means. Tristano made yet another contribution to the development of jazz as a charismatic teacher, a multi-instruemntalist who taught students of various instruments from the early 1940s until his death in 1978.

As the first musicological treatment of Tristano, this dissertation re-evaluates Tristano's position in jazz history and addresses problems of the current tendency toward canonization of jazz, in which he is misleadingly labeled as a "cool" jazz musician. The research methods combine oral history, archival research, and musical analysis. The main source of oral history comprises interviews conducted by the author with over 80 individuals, including Tristano's family members, associates, and students. A meticulous search through various bibliographic sources, especially contemporary journals which chronicled Tristano's activities, provided a wealth of information concerning the musical environment in which he operated. In discussing Tristano's music a selected number of recordings were transcribed and thoroughly analyzed.

How to order or email the author (at eshim500@yahoo.com)

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Re: 1999 - Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano

Postby nikkimerrill » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:43 am

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Re: 1999 - Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano

Postby eldarkhanovomar » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:23 am

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Last edited by eldarkhanovomar on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1999 - Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano

Postby lourencohen » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:35 am

Thanks for this info. I am doing my final year studies and doing my project works on Musicological Dissertation on Lennie Tristano. This is the topic given to me by my lecturer. I have found your page while browsing and I guess I will get all info I required from here.
Last edited by lourencohen on Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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