350

Paul Motian: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1

Francis Lo Kee By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Motian: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 What has always been beautiful about drummer/composer Paul Motian is his use of space or silence. His concept seems to be more about letting creative voices come through the total texture. Sometimes the voice is the drum, but sometimes it is sax or piano and Motian plays ideally, regardless of textural setting. Speaking of piano, Masabumi Kikuchi's playing on this live recording is consistently striking. Motian has played with some of the greatest pianists in the history of the music, including Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett, and Kikuchi's playing is perfect for this project.

On the opening track, Motian's "Standard Time," both the leader and Kikuchi let the simple, yet off- kilter melody come through Greg Osby's alto and Chris Potter's tenor while inserting little bursts of sonic energy in the provided spaces. The first soloist is bassist Larry Grenadier, Kikuchi comping with such creativity and freshness that we hear a bass solo in a totally different light. Grenadier's lead then organically moves the band into a swing groove for a seething tenor statement by Potter. Osby follows, upping the ante, yet the rhythm trio has some surprises for the altoist by varying the texture of the piece.

On Tadd Dameron's gorgeous ballad, "If You Could See Me Now (the CD's only non-Motian composition), Kikuchi's introduction is full of gentle surprises: namely the harmonic twists and melodic turns with their rich sense of dynamics that must have had Vanguard listeners on the edge of their seats. Both Potter and Osby play great solos and astonishingly trade throughout the form of the tune, giving listeners a great example of how jazz improvisers not only can communicate with the structure of a tune, but amongst one other as well. The solos eventually coalesce into the out-going melody statement, providing a totally satisfying yet original take on this classic.

"Olivia's Dream is a quintessential Motian composition, played with the kind of looseness for which his bands have become well known. The improvising starts from the very beginning but, as the statement of the theme gives way to even more spontaneity, the section takes on the appearance of a sax duet over rhythm. Again, the art of listening and instant composing is fully and satisfyingly on display here in the first four minutes. The saxophones in turn give way to the first real piano solo in the set and listeners should pay close attention in particular to this section of the CD—as it is some of the greatest, most original piano trio playing on the contemporary scene.

This recording is another significant example of Motian's unique art and ongoing contribution to jazz.


Track Listing: Standard Time; If You Could See Me Now; Olivias Dream; Morrock; Last Call.

Personnel: Paul Motian: drums; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Larry Grenadier: bass; Greg Osby: alto saxophone; Masabumi Kikuchi: piano.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Winter & Winter | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music" CD/LP/Track Review X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Storming Through the South" CD/LP/Track Review Storming Through the South
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by John Kelman
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!