giovedì 2 giugno 2011
Warne Marsh Quartet «Live in Berlin» 
One of my first great musical experiences in New York happened shortly after I had arrived here in 1980. I was rehearsing once a week with a band co-led by trumpeter Manny Duran and singer Carla White up in Breton Hall on 86th street and Broadway. During one of the rehearsals a shy thin gray haired man with a goatee walked in the room with a tenor saxophone and began to play with us. We were playing something like Tad Dameron's Hot House and this old guy begins to improvise like I had never heard before. With a sound that reminded me of Lester Young his lines came out snakelike weaving around smoothly, crossing over barlines with ease and playing amazingly complex rhythms throughout. This is what jazz is about I thought - improvising music in a completely unique style with a sense of exploration and risk taking. He was a musical tightrope walker keeping me in suspense as to what he would do next. Fantastic! After the piece was finished I was introduced to the one and only Warne Marsh.
Shortly after this rehearsal I received a phone call from Warne inviting me over to his studio for a session. I was thrilled with the idea of getting a chance to play with this musical genius and I was curious as to what music he would want to play. At first Warne just called standards like God Bless the Child and Just You Just Me, but then he wanted to play some Charlie Parker compositions and other bop masterpieces. I felt as if he were testing me and finally near the end of the session Warne pulled out some very difficult and twisted music written by Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, pieces like Subconscious Lee and Lennies Pennies. I had never played such complicated bebop music before. I noticed that these pieces sounded very similar to Warnes style of improvising with their unusual rhythms and across the bar-line phrases. I took the music home and began working on it as Warne wanted to play again the following week and I also decided I had better go out and buy some recordings of this amazing music to find out what it should sound like and who these musicians were. I knew of Lee Konitz from the Birth of the Cool recordings with Miles Davis and I had heard about the great blind pianist Lennie Tristano but I really never knew anything about Warne....
here here and here