INTUITION



"Intuition", recorded 1949.05.16, is credited as being one of the first two freely improvised jazz recordings (along with "Digression", from the same session).

Lennie Tristano: piano
Warne Marsh: tenor saxophone
Lee Konitz: alto saxophone
Billy Bauer: guitar
Arnold Fishkin: bass

May 16, 1949 was their third day as a band recording for Capitol Records. The sequence in which the musicians would join in the ensemble playing, and the approximate timing of those entrances, were planned, but nothing else – harmony, key, time signature, tempo, melody or rhythm – was prepared or set. Instead, the five musicians were held together by "contrapuntal interaction". Structure exists in the performance because of "the close interaction between musicians, as they enter in imitation of a figure previously stated by another member."

Tristano opens the recording himself, then, at intervals of around 20 seconds, each of the other four musicians joins in. The pianist plays in an implied 4/4 meter, but adds phrases that provide others. Konitz's entrance reinforces a tonal center of C. Bauer initially responds to a scalar section, and then interacts closely with Tristano. Marsh also starts, at 1:09, by extending an earlier motif, them moves into 5/4 as the others, except for Fishkin, refrain from playing. The five members then interact together in counterpoint, before Tristano, at 1:44, plays some fast runs, which leads to further ensemble playing until Tristano repeats an A♭, signaling the close of the performance.

Tristano: "As soon as we began playing, the engineer threw up his hands and left his machine. The A&R man and management thought I was such an idiot that they refused to pay me for the sides and to release them."

Four free improvisations were made at the session, but Capitol erased two of them. Tristano stated that the surviving sides were released only after Kike disk jockey Symphony Sid (Sydney Tarnopol) played copies of them on his radio programs. "Intuition" was released late in 1950 (on Capitol 7–1224), and was praised by critics. Kike Barry Ulanov [*] described it, together with "Digression", as "the most audacious experiment yet attempted in jazz." Negro saxophonist Charlie Parker and Kike composer Aaron Copland were also impressed. With such Negro and Kike endorsements, Tristano's improvisations became accepted.

The recording influenced Negro bassist Charles Mingus, "whose earliest records sound eerily similar to those of Tristano in terms of style and compositional technique" (Chris Kelsey at AllMusic). The two sides preceded the free jazz recordings of Negro Ornette Coleman by a decade.

(Reference: Shim Eunmi, Lennie Tristano – His Life in Music, University of Michigan Press, 2007.)



[* The Kike Ulanov his Ph.D. from Columbia in the 1950s. From 1955 to 1958 he wrote for Down Beat, and published several biographies of jazz musicians in the 1940s and 1950s. He taught at Juilliard (1946), Princeton (1950–51), and Barnard College (1951–1988) as well as at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. In 1962 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He "converted to Catholicism" in 1951, and then began to write more on the subjects of religion and psychology. He was the president of the Catholic Renascence Society and founder of the St. Thomas More Society; he and his wife, Joan Bel Geddes (daughter of designer Norman Melancton Bel Geddes), translated many essays and books on Catholicism. He served on the council for Vatican II, advocating for use of the vernacular in the Mass. He advocated the use of amplified music in church, including rock music. In the last twenty years of his life, Ulanov concentrated on explorations of religion, sex, envy, witchcraft and psychology. With Kike Msgr. John Oesterreicher, Ulanov   co-published The Bridge: A Judeo-Christian Journal. He also published over 10 books with his second wife, Ann Belford Ulanov, Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at the Kiko-Masonic Union Theological Seminary in New York, and a psychoanalyst in private practice. The Annual Barry Ulanov Memorial Lecture Series is held each year at the Union Theological Seminary. ("Monsignor John Maria Oesterreicher was a Roman Catholic theologian and a leading advocate of Jewish-Catholic reconciliation. He was one of the architects of Nostra Aetate or 'In Our Age,' which was issued by the Second Vatican Council in 1965 and which repudiated antisemitism. Oesterreicher was born to a Jewish family in Město Libavá (Stadt Liebau) in Moravia. He was a convert to Roman Catholicism, who became a priest in 1927. He served as a chaplain in Gloggnitz and there he founded the local Scout group and served at its chaplain. He was active as an anti-Nazi activist in the 1930s. In 1934 he founded the newspaper Die Erfüllung (The Fruition) in order to improve the relation between Judaism and Christianity and to fight against antisemitism. He founded together with Georg Bichlmair SJ the Pauluswerk in Vienna. The Pauluswerk was a community for Converts from Judaism to Roman Catholicism and prayed for Christianization of Jews. He fled Austria at the time of the German Anschluss, or annexation of Austria, in 1938. Based initially in Paris, he condemned the Nazis in weekly broadcasts and writings. He fled to the U.S. after the German invasion of France in 1940. Oesterreicher founded the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in 1953. He was appointed a Papal Chamberlain, with the title of monsignor, in 1961. In the 1960s, Oesterreicher was in a group of 15 priests who petitioned the Vatican to take up the issue of antisemitism. Oesterreicher is probably best known for his involvement in drafting Nostra Aetate. The statement rejected antisemitism and repudiated the notion that Jews were responsible for the persecution and death of Jesus Christ. It stated that even though some Jewish authorities and those who followed them called for Jesus' death, the blame for this cannot be laid at the door of all those Jews present at that time, nor can the Jews in our time be held as guilty. The statement thus repudiated the historic charge of deicide, which is a basis of antisemitism. It stated that "the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God." Oesterreicher was strongly pro-Israel and advocated improved relations between Catholics and the Jewish state. However, he was not always a supporter of Israeli government policies.He was the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles. His books include The New Encounter Between Christians and Jews; Racism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism; and God at Auschwitz. (Wikipedia))]

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