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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Paul Motian: Jack of Clubs

Read "Paul Motian: Jack of Clubs" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

As a drummer, Paul Motian (1931-2011) came to an early fame from his association with Bill Evans. It was the pianist's 1961 Riverside Records trio albums Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard that did the trick, shifting the way of the piano trio into the direction of democracy and intricate interplay, also launching Motian's career as a much coveted sideman, with pianists Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett, saxophonist Charles Lloyd and bassist Charlie Haden--a list that just ...

PROFILES

Memories in Motian

Read "Memories in Motian" reviewed by Zeno De Rossi

Soon after hearing about Paul Motian's passing (November 22, 2011) I felt the urge to delve (again) into his music. Later on, inspired by a moving writing by Ellery Eskelin (published on his website and reproduced below, by his kind permission), I thought it would have been interesting to collect brief memories from musicians which worked with him during his long career, as well as from those who were deeply influenced by him. So ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Paul Motian: Paul Motian (Old & New Masters Edition)

Read "Paul Motian: Paul Motian (Old & New Masters Edition)" reviewed by John Kelman

In a time when leadership roles are being thrust increasingly upon young musicians who may have the chops, the technique and the theory, but not the experience, drummer Paul Motian could be considered a lesson in patience, in waiting for the right time, in holding off for the precise moment of readiness.It's not that Motian couldn't, perhaps, have begun a career leading groups sooner than November, 1972 when, at the age of 41, he entered Butterfly and Sound ...

JAZZ POETRY

Poetry in Motian

Read "Poetry in Motian" reviewed by William DeLancey Adamson

Shimmering behind Bill's subtle reharmonies of the Gershwin tune LaFaro's pungent doublestops and even that asshole girl's phony laugh at the climax is your intelligence I've never heard nor ever will hear the like it's only Sunday night at the Village Vanguard but I feel it's the garden of Eden Years later it actually was or you made us think it was again when you wrote that primeval drone four notes ...

INTERVIEWS

Paul Motian: There's a Million Songs Out There

Read "Paul Motian: There's a Million Songs Out There" reviewed by Paul Olson

[This is an encore presentation of Paul Motian's April 2006 interview with All About Jazz.] Paul Motian doesn't like being interviewed. That said, the 75-year-old drummer has plenty to say, and doesn't hesitate to speak his mind. Motian first came to prominence in the late 1950s as one-third (with bassist Scott LaFaro and pianist Bill Evans) of the great Bill Evans Trio, which upended expectations of just what a jazz piano trio was supposed ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Motian: The Windmills Of Your Mind

Read "The Windmills Of Your Mind" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While Paul Motian's name is on the spine of this CD, guitarist Bill Frisell is the tie that binds this band. Frisell's ability to paint ethereal coats of sound in an earnest manner that speaks to his love of all things musical is at the heart of this program, which may be seen as an expansion of Petra Haden and Bill Frisell (True North, 2003)--a woefully overlooked vocals and guitar date which contains intimate and highly expressive takes on the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Paul Motian: New York, NY, May 20 2011

Read "Paul Motian: New York, NY, May 20 2011" reviewed by Warren Allen

Paul Motian Quartet “Tribute to the MJQ"Village VanguardNew York, NYMay 20, 2011 The boundary between past and present in jazz has, over the years, become a source of overwrought debate. The rise of “Tribute" shows at New York City's big name clubs gives ammunition to those who say that jazz today looks too much to its past at the expense of its future. But good musicians make good music, regardless of how it's advertised, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Paul Motian Trio 2000 + Two: Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume lll

Read "Paul Motian Trio 2000 + Two: Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume lll" reviewed by Charles Walker

Paul Motian Trio 2000 + TwoLive at the Village Vanguard, Volume IIIWinter & Winter2011 It almost seems like a challenge to the critical establishment: return to the scene of your greatest early-career triumph, 40 years later, surrounded by active musicians instead of legends, and see what happens. Drummer Paul Motian, a fundamental gear in the Bill Evans Trio's landmark Sunday at the Vanguard (Riverside, 1961), has spent many of the intervening ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Motian / Jason Moran / Chris Potter: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Pianos have rarely been featured in drummer Paul Motian's ensembles, though his years with Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett have surely left an impression on his approach to balladry. Lost in a Dream is a collection of Motian ballads recorded at the Village Vanguard in early 2009, with Motian in the intriguing company of pianist Jason Moran and saxophonist Chris Potter. The empathy here is pronounced. Never restricted by the role of mere time-keeper, Motian's touch and free, impressionistic playing ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost In A Dream

Read "Lost In A Dream" reviewed by Martin Gladu

Flitting like drunken fireflies, luminescent tones flutter out of a saxophone, tracing capricious, spasmodic lines. In the background, washes of cymbals and softly-brushed snare sweeps weave discretely fine-spun rhythms around a shy piano that is busy rocking drowsy chords to sleep. Fragmented, almost to the point of abstraction, the music nevertheless expands, ebb and flowing placidly like sea waves licking at a sandy beach, pulse-less yet its life beating strong.If a modernist spin on the old cubist aesthetic ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by Ted Gordon

Consider this album a blind date of sorts: Drummer Paul Motian-meets-pianist-Jason Moran, introduced by the matchmaker, saxophonist Chris Potter. Though Motian had worked once with Moran in 2006, this collaboration is a stunning example of the versatility and mastery of Motian's veteran technique. Recorded over a week of concerts at New York City's Village Vanguard, Motian's stomping grounds, this album is held together by the trio's seemingly effortless exploration of slow, melodic ballads. At 79, Motian has proven to be ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Motian / Chris Potter / Jason Moran: Lost in a Dream

Read "Lost in a Dream" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Drummer Paul Motian seems to fit very comfortably into any musical situation, and elevate it. With a career that spans more than five decades--and seeming to begin at an early pinnacle with pianist Bill Evans' trio on the legendary Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961)--Motian has, as a sideman, augmented musical visions galore. A listen no further than his contributions to Bobo Stenson's Goodbye (ECM Records, 2005), Anat Fort's A Long Story (ECM Records, 2007), or Marc Copland's ...


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