When Lennie Tristano in 1949 turned the lights off in the recording studio, and he and the band began freely improvising without a pre-determined form (with the exception of length and entrance order of the players), they were breaking new ground.

This type of free improvisation was only one of the areas in which he and his musicians worked. Most often, they were developing ways of playing over standard chord progressions, while at the same time writing new melodies, building on the technique - begun in the swing era and employed extensively in bebop - of using standard songs as a blueprint for new material. In addition to new rhythmic and melodic explorations, these players also succeeded in breaking away from the often used AABA song form, avoiding repeated phrases and thus giving the music a surprising feel.
     Although our band Wow is not a repertory band, on this our first release we concentrate on music associated with Lennie Tristano and musicians in his sphere of influence.
     Wow (originally called Captain Liftig) was started when saxophonist Klas Lindqvist and myself began transcribing tunes by Tristano and Marsh sometime around the year 2000. This led to jam sessions playing these tunes, and to a few gigs. Things came to a temporary halt when Klas moved to Stockholm, and it wasn’t until some years later, after my having met Andreas Gidlund, that the band began to make a serious effort to learn this material again.
     As stated, most of the music on this CD is associated with Tristano and his cohorts, in this case Warne Marsh and Ted Brown, both tenor saxophonists and students of Lennie. In addition to their music, we do a version of Bill Evans’ "Blue in Green". Some might recognize the melody I use as being John Coltrane’s solo from "Kind of Blue". We also pay homage to Tommy Flanagan and Charlie Parker by playing their tunes "Freight Trane" and "Chi-Chi" as a two part blues. And as a nod to Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz, we change the rhythms around a bit before taking the tune out.
     Tristano’s influence on music is still being felt, and his piano playing has undeniably influenced a wide range of pianists: Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock , Paul Bley and Andrew Hill, to name a few. His music, along with songs of Konitz, Marsh and Brown, continues to be played and recorded (check out the International Hashva Orchestra with Nat Su and Mark Turner!). Marsh’s and Konitz’ influence on a wide range of saxophonists is much in evidence today (Turner, Seamus Blake, Chris Cheek, Nat Su, Greg Osby, among others). I strongly feel that the way these inspirers played (play in the case of Konitz and Brown) has permanently altered the sound of music in a very positive way.

Eric Liftig
tenor saxophone, born in Hartford Connecticut. USA, lives in Gothenburg since 1988. Studies in Miami Florida , Berklee College in Boston. Private studies with among others Dave Liebman, Joe Viola, Jerry Bergonzi. Played with(in US) Mike Kanen,Dave Goldblatt, Dave Kikoski, in Sweden member of Janne Ersson Big Band, Lars Sundberg Kvartett, Ray Charles Tribute Band, Vanessa Liftigs Fly Right. Founder of Wow.

Andreas Gidlund
tenor saxophone, has studied at Musikhögskolan (Musical Academy), in Göteborg. He is the bandleader of his own group Andreas Gidlund Kvartett (formed in 2000), and has released 3 albums with it.
     "In spite of the artistic ambitions and the technical brilliance, Andreas Gidlund always puts the listener in focus as he communicates his melodious message. Dynamic, intense, modern traditionalism bubbling of joy from playing." (from Fasching´s website, jazz club in Stockholm)

Per Johansson
piano, lives since 1994 in Göteborg. After having finished his studies at Musikhögskolan in Göteborg, he has been freelancing in various musical situations, with jazz, pop, gospel and various kinds of African music. He is now playing with Wow, Janne Ersson Big Band, Mobile Mama Jazzband, Annika Blennerhed, Karin Burman Band, Amanimini, Gothenburg Street etc. He also works as a teacher at Donnergymansiet and at Musikhögskolan in Göteborg.

Henrik Aronsson
double bass, has played bass since 1990. His musical styles has varied from hard rock to classical music to pop and jazz. As a freelance musician, since 1997, he has worked with theatre, shows, symphonic music, soul and pop. He has appeared on TV and big stages as well as in jazz clubs and churches. He has played with Bohuslän Big Band, Emrik, Helene Sjöholm, Lew Soloff and others.

Chris Montgomery
drums, is born and raised in Karlstad, Sweden. From 2002 until 2005 he studied at Musikhögskolan in Göteborg. After his studies he has been freelancing as a musician. He has played with Harald Svensson, Lina Nyberg, Magnus Lindgren, Rigmor Gustavsson and others.