“Who knows what’s next musically? Lennie didn’t. And, neither do I.”
It’s 2:30 a.m., and Philadelphia pianist Andy Kahn is talking about fellow jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, whose improvisational melodies and arrangements, though deeply and rivetingly complex (atonal at times), focused on beauty and freedom. From the simplicity of a love song such as “I Surrender Dear” (with lyrics such as “I may seem proud, I may act gay, It’s just a pose, I’m not that way”) to albums such as 1962’s strange, stirring “The New Tristano,” the late pianist-composer is a portrait in risk and unique display.