Tristano and Bach! by Richard Tabnik

Tristano and Bach!
by Richard Tabnik 

The following is a letter that I wrote to the New York Times in response to an article that they had written about Jacques Loussier, a French pianist whom the writer claimed was the first to play Bach in a jazz style... 

Editor, New York Times, "The Arts" Section:

In regards to James R. Oestreich's article of Wednesday, April,2, 1997 {Play It Jazz, Switched On or Straight, It's Bach}, he states: 

"...Jacques Loussier, a French pianist who pioneered in jazz-style performances of Bach almost four decades ago..." 

With all due respect to Messrs. Oestreich and Loussier, this is simply not the case. In fact, the great Jazz Pianist, Lennie Tristano, was the first to play Bach with a jazz feeling in clubs with his bands of the 40's and 50's. 

This is documented on the recent CD release on Jazz Records of the Lennie Tristano Sextet entitled "Wow". The piece is "Fugue in D Minor, BWV 899" and is performed by Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, and Billy Bauer.

The recording date of this track is circa 1950! Anyone wishing a catalog may write to:

Jazz Records
P.O. Box 30273
N.Y., N.Y. 10011-0103


Richard Tabnik, Jazz Alto Saxophonist



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