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MUSICIAN Born:

Paul Bley

"Since the Montreal-born, long-US resident Bley's 50's debut with Mingus and Blakey, he's worked with more first-rate, wide ranging original musical minds than anyone but Miles..." —Howard Mandel, Downbeat, April 1995 Bley gave violin recitals at age five. By age seven he was studying piano. He went through numerous classical teachers—including one Frenchman that had him play, balancing filled water glasses on the tops of his hands. At age 11 he graduated from the McGill Conservatory—having taken on their musical curriculum in addition to his public school education. Bley, who was known as "Buzzy" in his early adolescence, formed a band and played clubs and summer hotel jobs in the Laurentian Mountains at age 13. Four years later he replaced Oscar Peterson at the Alberta Lounge. Bley founded the Montreal Jazz Workshop and brought Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Brew Moore and Alan Eager to Montreal inorder to perform with them. In 1950 Bley left for New York City. He studied at the Julliard School of Music from 1950-54. While at Julliard, Bley had a band with Jackie MacLean, Donald Byrd, Arthur Taylor, Doug Watkins. In this period he toured with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge and Bill Harris. He was a frequent visitor at the famed Saturday night sessions at Lenny Tristano's studio. Bley served as president of the Associated Jazz Societies of New York in 1952, which led to Charlie Mingus hiring Bley to conduct his ensemble. Mingus also recorded Bley's debut album, along with himself and Art Blakey, on his label, Debut Records.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Federica Michisanti Horn Trio: Jeux De Couleurs

Read "Jeux De Couleurs" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il fermento creativo dell'Horn Trio di Federica Michisanti (con Francesco Bigoni al clarinetto/sax tenore e Francesco Lento alla tromba/flicorno) compie nuovi passi avanti. L'estetica di fondo è ovviamente in sintonia con il precedente Silent Rides e in parte con Isk (Filibusta Records, 2016), registrato col sassofonista Matt Renzi e il pianista Simone Maggio. Alla libertà armonica ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sebastien Ammann's Color Wheel: Resilience

Read "Resilience" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Sebastien Ammann is originally from Switzerland but has been part of the New York City jazz scene since 2008, collaborating with musicians such as Kris Davis, Tony Malaby, Ohad Talmor and George Schuller. His current main focus is on his quintet, Color Wheel, whose second album is a kaleidoscope of fresh sounds and interesting musical ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mattias Risberg's Mining: Zauberberg

Read "Zauberberg" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg has teamed up with a range of well-known northern European born or based improvisers, including saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist and vocalist Jennie Abrahamson. He remains largely unknown in the U.S. but garnered well-deserved attention for And Now the Queen--A Tribute to Carla Bley (Lilalo records, 2016), a duo recording with Ljungkvist. Risberg ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Steve Swallow Interview

Read "Steve Swallow Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in January 2001. Steve Swallow may not be a household name, at least in most households, but if you've listened to contemporary jazz over the last thirty years, you've likely heard him on one side of the studio glass or the other. ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John Scofield: One For Swallow

Read "John Scofield: One For Swallow" reviewed by Ian Patterson

From time to time in his storied career John Scofield will take a look over his shoulder and re-examine some of the music that has fed into his own, personal brand of jazz. The influences are many, for no matter the context that Scofield engineers, his distinctive sound always carries something of the blues, a little ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision

Read "Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Strange that such a gruesome tale, drowning in blood, could have inspired so much great art. So it goes with Bluebeard, the seventeenth century French folktale, which continues to inspire artists to this day. Dutch saxophonist/composer Yuri Honing's Bluebeard (2020)-- his fourth album on Challenge Records with his acoustic quartet--is not just a highly personal take ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The De Jong/Rebane/Kantonen Trio: Intercities

Read "Intercities" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Intercities is the debut album from the trio of pianist Jetse de Jong, bassist Robert Rebane and drummer Roope Kantonen. The multi-national group hails from The Netherlands, Estonia, and Finland, respectively. All in their early twenties, the musicians met while attending the Conservatory of Amsterdam. De Jong, who studied both classical piano and jazz, was inspired ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Paul Bley: Early Trios

Paul Bley: Early Trios

Pianist Paul Bley is often thought of today as a free-jazz trailblazer and avatar of the avant-garde. But in the beginning, in the early 1950s, Bley was a swinging modernist, leaning heavily on bop. Bley led a trio in New York and recorded three albums—Introducing Paul Bley (Debut), Autobiography in Jazz (Debut) and Paul Bley (Emarcy). ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors, Barry Altschul: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Sontuosa rilettura di dodici tra le più belle composizioni di Carla Bley, quest'album nasce da un'idea del contrabbassista Ulf Krokfors, condivisa con la pianista Iro Haarla--che frequenta la musica di Carla fin dai tempi del conservatorio e che ha da sempre Paul Bley come modello pianistico--e poi concretizzata assieme a Barry Altschul, batterista nel trio del ...


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