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Research Colloquium: Marian Jago
February 19, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:15 pmFree
Dr Marian Jago (Edinburgh)
“Disability, Authenticity, Recording, and the Location of the Work in Jazz: The Case of Lennie Tristano”
The Colloquia feature leading figures, as well as younger scholars, from across the world. They present their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. Graduate students Jason Weir and Emma Kavanagh organise the series. Presentations are followed by discussion and a drinks reception. Students, staff, and the general public are warmly encouraged to attend.
In 1956 blind jazz pianist Lennie Tristano released an album for Atlantic records on which he made use of studio techniques—multi-tracking, overdubbing, and the manipulation of tape speeds—which were, and remain, rare in jazz. The album was a critical success, but there was also heated debate in the jazz press around the techniques used and Tristano’s motivations in employing them. In large part, Tristano’s reputation never recovered. This talk will discuss the underlying causes of the controversy as well as more recent attitudes toward liveness in jazz as a potential approach for reconsiderations of genre. It will also consider links between disability studies and jazz performance practice, positing that some of Tristano’s aesthetic decisions were linked to his blindness, while at the same time calling into question some of the ways in which jazz has recently been characterized by this burgeoning field.