A lot of music just feels like someone’s baked you a cake you didn’t ask for. Pop music is all “I know what you want, here have it, it’s yours.” I of course love pop music (and cake too), but I love love music that doesn’t feel like it wants me to like it, and nor does it feel like it’s trying to put me off. It’s getting on with its own thing and basically not taking me into account. That’s what I want to hear. I suppose it comes down to honesty. I like people who are like that too, not ingratiating, or superficially kind and thoughtful in a spurious way, but just honest and genuine and no in it to score brownie points. I’m not like that. I want everyone to like me.
Lennie Tristano had such a muscular articulation. It always sucks me right in. The first track, ‘Line Up’ distils for me something of the essence of the whole post-bop thing after all the changes and extensions and bonkers tempos of the Parker years. It’s so stripped back, just a bassline, a drum groove, and that line on the piano, with all that bewildering syncopation. Don’t know how he did it. A lot like Mulligan that way.