Dig - It: The Musical Life of Ted Brown

Marian Jago

Abstract


Amid the mass of jazz scholarship which still concentrates on the most famous architects of the music (Parker, Davis, Coltrane etc) it is all too easy to overlook the contributions of less recorded and commercially successful artists.  Ted Brown, tenor saxophonist and former student of pianist / educator Lennie Tristano, is such a player.  Never quite as successful or well known as fellow Tristano students Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, Brown nonetheless participated fully in the musical culture that grew up around Tristano's Manhattan studio.  A unique and melodic improviser and composer who contributed several tunes to the Tristano canon, Brown managed to reach the highest levels of jazz performance while simultaneously working a full-time day job.  An examination of his musical life lends insight into what Nat Hentoff called 'the jazz life', as well as into the practical application of Tristano's pedagogical methods.  A talented artist with a decidedly unique story, Ted Brown serves to remind us that some of the most interesting voices of jazz can be of those few people recognize.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14713/jjs.v10i2.99

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