We’re getting so close! Lennie’s Pennies is definitely the most difficult Tristano composition I’ve learned thus far. The tune is based on “Pennies From Heaven” but altered to be in minor. If you haven’t already do yourself a favor and check out Bing Crosby’s version (skip forward to 3 minutes in). “Pennies” has one of the greatest verses I’ve ever heard.
Lennie’s line is difficult to learn as well as very difficult to play (measures 27-28 don’t lay too well on the alto sax). The harmony in the 28th bar (5th to last) always eluded me. It’s one of the most distinct and mysterious moments in the changes. Even though they drop a beat early on, I love the intensity of this live recording with Warne and Gary Foster in 1971 at the Ice House.
Transcription: Lennie’s Pennies