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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley / Gary Peacock / Paul Motian: When Will The Blues Leave

Read "When Will The Blues Leave" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Had Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian recorded together more consistently, they would have been considered among the best piano trios in modern jazz history. The three first recorded on the ECM collection Paul Bley with Gary Peacock (1970), a compilation from the 1960s where three of the eight tracks had Billy Elgart on drums. It would be decades before the trio reunited in the studio, and again, ECM captured the session, Not Two, Not One (1998). When Will ...

RADIO

A Focus on Paul Bley

Read "A Focus on Paul Bley" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This week we focus on the work of master pianist Paul Bley, including examples of the ground-breaking music he created with Jimmy Giuffre and Steve Swallow. During the rest of the show we feature some fascinating recent releases and some other classic cuts. Playlist James Brandon Lewis “Sir Real Denard" from An Unruly Manifesto (Relative Pitch) 00:00 Paul Bley “There Will Never Be Another You" from Early Trios (Fresh Sounds) 09:52 Jimmy Giuffre “The Five Ways" from ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases of 2014

Read "Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases of 2014" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It's that time to wrap it up and make some choices on the top jazz releases of the year. Here are my picks for the best of 2014, in no particular order, with the exception of the first listing, pianist Paul Bley's disc, which stands out. I do love piano jazz. Paul BleyPlay Blue ECM Records Pianist Paul Bley's career got started in the 1950s, and he has recorded scores of albums--many of them ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: Play Blue

Read "Play Blue" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Paul Bley, born in 1932, began his jazz career in the 1950's, working with every one from saxophonists Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, and Ornette Coleman, as well as clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre and trumpeter Chet Baker, and more legends of the time than can be listed here. He has, under his own name, made over a hundred recordings, in every style. The most often mentioned of these scores of recordings are two solo piano sets for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley / Franz Koglmann / Gary Peacock: Annette

Read "Annette" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Those familiar with the music of Paul Bley, as well as Annette Peacock--after whom this album is named, and whose compositions are featured--will recall the nervy sense of creativity that flowed through their veins and music. In fact, the manner in which Peacock's work is described also fits Bley; both play music that is austere, exacting, somewhat laconic, minimalist and always wildly individual, which is what makes it so sensual, singular and utterly memorable. And while Bley's music has always ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: Barrage

Read "Barrage" reviewed by Stuart Broomer

At times circumstance conspires to hide a masterpiece: it may be the artist's lack of reputation; perhaps it doesn't resemble his more typical works or it's just overshadowed by more prominent or better promoted music. Paul Bley's Barrage is such a work. Produced in 1964 when most of the band was unknown, it's a singularly non-lyrical and non-spacious work by a pianist celebrated for those qualities; further, it was issued in the midst of Coltrane and Ayler's greatest statements. Nonetheless, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: Barrage

Read "Barrage" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Music performed by Paul Bley is always an event of great import--no matter where or when, or in what context it is performed. But with Barrage this was the roaring '60s. Charlie Parker, who had set the world on fire, had left a meteoric legacy and in the after-burn came the smoldering avant-garde. Ornette Coleman may have defined part of the leading edge of the harmolodic music of the day, but it was the rhythmic invention that bound the melody. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: Barrage

Read "Barrage" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Recorded a year earlier than the previous ESP re-released Paul Bley Trio session, Closer (ESP Disk, 2008), Barrage takes an approach that tends toward the frenetic. In fact, judging from the very beginning of the record when the trumpet and sax synchronize in a group of short phrase spurts ("Batterie"), the music seems to deconstruct bebop, go on diverse tangents and then conclude in a synchronous reprise. Such a pattern exists throughout all of the pieces on the record.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley Quintet: Barrage

Read "Barrage" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Pianist Paul Bley recorded two albums for ESP Disk. The first was Barrage in 1964, the second was Closer in 1965. On the first Bley used Marshall Allen (alto sax), Dewey Johnson (trumpet), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Milford Graves (percussion). The latter was a more intimate outing with Steve Swallow (bass) and Barry Altschul (percussion). If there was a common thread besides Bley, it was the use of compositions by Carla Bley. Barrage was devoted completely to her music and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: About Time

Read "About Time" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Pianist Paul Bley has set many milestones along his illustrious career, taking the piano on undiscovered paths and fermenting his art with unbridled imagination. Risk has never daunted him, and even as he takes it, he keeps logic in lockstep.

He is as much at home in avant-garde and free explorations as he is in giving the mainstream a new sparkle, and for a time, even tinkering with electronics. The call to experiment is ever present, wrapped compactly ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley Trio: Closer

Read "Closer" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Pianist Paul Bley is an innovator whose imagination eclipses the norm. He never wavers from a challenge and there is always an air of expectancy each time Bley sits at the piano. He is comfortable in any setting and his music has been shaped by several peers. Among them were Sonny Rollins, Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Charles Mingus, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman.

In the final analysis, however, it is his vision that propels the music ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Bley: Closer

Read "Closer" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Piano music has various personalities. It can be extroverted, jamming and far-reaching. It can be self-referential and have form that evolves only as it is played. It can be rigorously confined to form and fit well within conventional or traditional labels that have been assigned to it. Or it can be introverted and mindful, and beg to be embraced while being embracing.

The piano art of Paul Bley with his trio is the latter. This is more than evident on ...