His next booking is Wednesday night at the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue, and the circumstances are ripe for his return. Mr. Brown was among the early protégés of Lennie Tristano, a blind pianist and composer who charted his own course through modern postwar jazz before withdrawing into a reclusive life of pedagogy. (He died in 1978.) The music of the Tristano School, as it came to be known, was for many years the province of niche enthusiasts, and only a rare point of reference for musicians in the jazz mainstream.
That's no longer the case, thanks to the ascendant influence of a generation of playerslike the saxophonist Mark Turner, 45, and the guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, 40who have been vocal in their admiration for Tristano's harmonically daring, melodically intricate music. Greater availability of that music has furthered the cause, as have scholarly examinations like Lennie Tristano: His Life in Music" (University of Michigan Press), published in 2007. The Tristano School, always ahead of its time, has come to feel congruent with ours, exerting real influence among younger musicians, including some of the brightest and best.