The great drummer Paul Motian has enjoyed a lengthy and quite fruitful relationship with Stefan Winter of JMT Records, which eventually regrouped or reformed as the Winter & Winter label. During his association with Stefan Winter’s various record labels, Motian has also released a few “groundbreaking or perhaps trend setting modern jazz recordings, namely his Trio efforts with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. On Paul Motian Trio 2000 + One, Motian enlists the fine and perhaps budding “superstar” saxophonist Chris Potter along with old crony and renowned bassist Steve Swallow.
True to form and expectations, Swallow utilizes his electric bass on several cuts while on compositions such as Chris Potter’s “Pas de Deux”, acoustic bassist and rising star Larry Grenadier offers some magnificent accompaniment and gorgeous well-stated soloing. This Trio is magnetic on Motian’s “Dance” as Swallow and Potter delve into free jazz territory implementing a slightly Ornette Coleman-ish style rhythmic structure complete with soaring and sharp tenor work from Potter. As one would expect, Motian is the musician’s drummer, complete with swirling fills, expansive yet colorful cymbal work and near flawless time keeping. Motian’s “One In Three” once again features Potter at his best. Here, Potter educates the listener with the art of reinventing a melody through witty yet emotional phrasing and deeply personalized thematic renderings.
On Potter’s composition titled, “Protoplasm”, Motian stretches out as the bouncy, swinging nature of this piece is also a perfect vehicle for Potter as he pretty much pulls out all the stops here. On Motian’s “Last Call”, Masabumi Kikuchi performs solo piano as this piece is a warm, somewhat sentimental ballad.
The total recorded time is only 42 minutes; yet, the tried and true saying, “quality is better than quantity holds some weight here. The Paul Motian Trio 2000 + One further exemplifies Motian’s very “musical” attributes and willingness to explore and take chances; hence, another fine effort from this drummer, bandleader and composer. * * * *
Allegro Corp distributes Winter & Winter Records in the USA.