378

Paul Bley/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian: Not Two, Not One

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Bley/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian: Not Two, Not One In a league by himself, pianist Paul Bley's art is one that has involved taking the road less traveled. He uses the jazz vocabulary in a way that is distinctive and varies from the norm, much in the manner that Hemingway or Gertrude Stein created sentences and paragraphs that skirted typical conventions. For this new ECM release, Bley teams up with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian for the first time on record in several decades. The compatibility factor is particularly high, owing to the fact that Peacock and Motian were part of the Bill Evans trio, an early model for the type of innovation and rhythmic stretching that marks Bley's work.

There's a general brooding and dark character to much of the music here, with the first three tracks finding Bley experimenting with the extreme low register of the studio's Bosendorfer grand. Peacock and Motian skirt in and out of Bley's rugged explorations for what could serve as an excellent soundtrack for a piece of film noire. It's not until the fourth cut, a remake of Bley's "Fig Foot," that we get to hear the trio "swing" in any kind of conventional sense. More introspective ruminations follow, highlighted by the ballad "Noosphere," which shows off Bley's more lyrical and romantic side.

As an extension of the kinds of rhythmic innovations that Bill Evans was working towards (i.e. less implicit stating of the beat and more interactive statements from the bass and drums), this set is a complete success. Not Two, Not One is a formidable and uncompromising listen that demands your time and attention; background music it is not. Bley will not get rich or gain a large audience through this idiosyncratic mode of expression, but he's to be lauded for his efforts at pushing the envelope in a way that doesn't suggest chaos or anger.


Track Listing: Not Zero: In Three Parts, Entelechy, Now, Fig Foot, Vocal Tracked, Intente, Noosphere, Set Up Set, Dialogue Amour, Don't You Know, Not Zero: In One (62:37)

Personnel: Paul Bley- piano, Gary Peacock- bass, Paul Motian- drums

Title: Not Two, Not One | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Blow + Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Blow + Beat
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Contrasts" CD/LP/Track Review Contrasts
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Cada Fuego Es El Primero" CD/LP/Track Review Cada Fuego Es El Primero
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.