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Radio Birdman - Descent into the Maelstrom


Lennie Tristano — Descent into the Maelstrom (Jazz Records)

Simply put, Lennie Tristano is one of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated musicians in jazz.  Now that the textbooks have finally begun to give him credit for pioneering free improvisation with his 1949 combo recordings, it is time that notice was taken of an even more radical recording of four years later, and it was the last Tristano album to be released in his lifetime. Descent into the Maelstrom was not issued until 1976, when it came out on East Wind in Japan.  If for nothing else, this reissue should be snapped up for the three and a half minute whirlwind title track, but other surprises await those familiar with previous incarnations of this neglected album.

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