River of the Lenape

River Scene

A suite of 11 genre-defying guitar/piano improvisations by Bud Tristano and Kazzrie Jaxen celebrating the passion & mystery of the Delaware River, originally called "Lenapewiattuck" by the indigenous Lenape. Each recording session was inspired by a walk to, and sometimes a dip into, the river.

With combined influences as diverse as Charley Parker, Lennie Tristano, Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and early Yes, guitarist Bud Tristano and pianist Kazzrie Jaxen have found a central meeting place in free improvisation. All of the music on this CD is spontaneously improvised and is, for both players, an expression of love for the wild passionate beauty of nature.

Available here ==>

1. Prophecy of the Fourth Crow
2. Breath of the North
3. Long Dark Nights
4. Glacier
5. First Thaw
6. The Greening
7. Sacred Forest
8. Ceremony: Song for the River of Time
9. Vision Quest
10. Ancestral Return
11. Lenapewiattuck --->

Bud Tristano, guitar
Kazzrie Jaxen, piano

Recording & Mastering: Dana Duke, Roscoe, NY
Recording Dates: April 2007 - September 2013
Field Recording: Brett Keyser, 2016
Photography: Bud Tristano
CD Design: Cheryl Richards
Produced by Bud Tristano & Kazzrie Jaxen

All music by Bud Tristano & Kazzrie Jaxen
Quaternity Music (ASCAP)

River Shore

 Bud Tristano:

As soon as I was old enough to look out a window, I was fascinated by the outdoors. Our yard was a place to explore, a place for me to crawl around in before I could even walk. When I started to read I became fascinated with all aspects of natural history and how humans interfaced with it. The dichotomy notwithstanding, I was drawn equally to the indigenous peoples and those who left civilization behind to "live off the land."



For some unknown reason I was drawn to the North American Indians more than any other indigenous culture, and the American pioneers of the 1700s more than any other settlers. These interests followed me as I transitioned from city life to country life. By my teenage years, circumstances had taken me away from the city for good, and I found solace in nature. I began studying nature on a more serious level and became an amateur naturalist. I was also fascinated with all aspects of living off the land and became an avid outdoorsman as well.

At the same time it became heartbreaking to see more and more woodlands being destroyed by timbering, mining and development. Indeed, I identified with Iron Eyes Cody, that iconic crying Indian of the 1970s TV commercial regarding pollution. Authentic or not, I became that. Everywhere I have gone since then, I have tried to imagine what the land was like before civilization touched it. The tear is very real.



I became serious about music and the guitar in my early 20s, but threw the rule book away. My own musical journey was influenced by the rhythms and sounds of nature, and on my earliest recordings one hears the sounds of nature intertwined with my guitar. Unknowingly, I was developing an idea that Debussy had written about decades earlier: music reflecting that "mysterious accord which exists between nature and the imagination."

This is the trajectory I was on when I came to Sullivan County and the Delaware River -- originally known as Lenapewiattuck -- to begin a musical project with Kazzrie. Our time spent along (and in) the river inspired our imaginations to feel what it must have been like when the Lenape had it all to themselves. It became the music.


- Bud Tristano

 Kazzrie Jaxen:

I was living in New York City when I first came to Sullivan County and set eyes on the Delaware River. I remember walking out onto the bridge between New York and Pennsylvania, looking upriver, and being pierced by the beauty I saw. Then I watched as my heart rocket-launched out of my body on a long energy cord, dove into the water, and dropped anchor. Not yet understanding the power of what had just happened to me, I returned to the city. But two years later I was to follow the umbilical pull of my heart: I left New York City, moved to the Delaware River Valley, and began my tutelage under the loving guidance of Mother Nature.

Iconic View


The first voice I heard was the river's: "Come and watch my patterns." I began to show up every day at the same place, absorbing the visual vibrations of the water, the contrapuntal dance of rhythm and light. I learned to perceive these patterns as pure information and gradually opened to the field of natural intelligence all around me. Embracing this silent world, away from the stress and static of the city, I became attuned to the improvised music of the river, sky, trees, and stones.

One afternoon, as I was sitting in front of a massive glacial rock, I had a distinct impression of familiarity, a sense of hidden treasure floating up from within the stone. An odd thought occurred to me. I wondered if I'd been here thousands of years ago and had left a message in the stone for my future self to find. Was that why I felt such a deep connection to the indigenous Lenape, and why there were moments when everyone in this Catskill community seemed so familiar? Had we all been here before? Had my heart recognized the river and summoned me here, as if fulfilling a promise from another time?



Alive with multi-dimensionality and healing energy, the river continues to inspire inquiry into the mysterious and eternal. Lenapewiattuck, Bud, and I have brought our pasts and futures as well as our present-day moments to these spontaneous musical improvisations. Perhaps we've shared many seasons here, many lifetimes, many stories. The Lenape language has a beautiful way of expressing an understanding of this kind of mutual exchange: "Elanku manqua" -- "We are all related." Traditionally, prayers were ended with the words "Wanishi, Anishi" -- "Thank you, You're welcome." 1


- Kazzrie Jaxen

Iconic View

Bud and Kazzrie

Except where noted, all content ©2018 Bud Tristano & Kazzrie Jaxen

~ Reviews ~

  Dennis Winge
  Mel Minter
  Marv Friedenn


An independent label featuring improvised music, in which each member functions as an independent producer with complete creative control.
Click on logo to see catalog ==>


Videos ==> New Artists Records Concert Hall

Guitar  Top of Page  Guitar