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R.I.P. Paul Motian


sachimay

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I saw him live with Jarrett years ago. On the last song of the concert, Paul took a solo, but instead of a typical flashy powerhouse drum solo, it was subtle and pure music. The audience started talking over the solo, so Jarrett cut the solo off and took the song out. Paul Motian was "too hip for the room" - some so-called music critics never knew what he was doing either.
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I saw him live with Jarrett years ago. On the last song of the concert, Paul took a solo, but instead of a typical flashy powerhouse drum solo, it was subtle and pure music. The audience started talking over the solo, so Jarrett cut the solo off and took the song out. Paul Motian was "too hip for the room" - some so-called music critics never knew what he was doing either.

 

 

...And you wonder why Jarrett gets pissed at his audiences sometimes.

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Very sad news....

 

That "Live at the Deer Head Inn" is such an intimate live record. You feel like you're sitting in someone's living room listening to the Trio. I've read were some "music critics" said they thought Keith didn't play as well on the record as the all the other Standards records with Jack. I think it's a different vibe then what Jack brings obviously, but still swinging in his own unique, earthy, inimitable style. It says a lot when PM was the only other drummer outside of Jack that Keith would record with. Personally I think KJ sounds super relaxed on that Dear Head record.

 

I have him on a Larry Goldings piano trio record dating back to '96/'97 called "Awareness" with Larry Grenadier. Very Jarrettish vibe, some really nice Goldings originals and inspired playing by all.

 

The Jazz world mourns another loss today... :(

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Sad to hear -- I really enjoyed his later works on the obscure "Winter & Winter" label (home to my ultimate jazz hero, Uri Caine). And of course I was a HUGE fan of the Jarrett Quartet/Quintet in the 70's.

 

I would go along with the vote for "Bye Bye Blackbird".

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Paul Motian, Jazz Drummer, Is Dead at 80

By BEN RATLIFF

 

Paul Motian, a drummer, bandleader, and composer of grace and abstraction, and one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years, died early Tuesday morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in NewYork. He was 80 and lived in Manhattan.

 

The cause was complications of myelodisplastic syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder, said his friend, Carole dInverno Frisell.

 

Mr. Motian was a living connection to some of the groups of the past that informed what jazz sounds like today: he had been in Bill Evanss great trio in the late 1950s and early 1960s, playing on the albums Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and in Keith Jarretts American quartet during the 1970s. But it was in the second half of his life that Mr. Motian found himself as a composer and a bandleader, and his own work took off.

 

He worked steadily, and for the last six years or so almost entirely in Manhattan, with the support of the record producers Stefan Winter and Manfred Eicher, who streamed out his albums, and Lorraine Gordon of the Village Vanguard, who eventually booked his groups for up to four or five weeks per year.

 

Then there were the many musicians he played with regularly, including the saxophonist Joe Lovano and the guitarist Bill Frisell, with whom he kept a working trio; the pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and the saxophonists Greg Osby and Chris Potter, with whom he played in trios and quartets; the members of the Electric Bebop Band, with multiple electric guitars, which in 2006 became the Paul Motian Band; and dozens of other musicians, from young unknowns to old masters.

 

For almost all of his bands, his repertory was a combination of terse and mysterious originals he composed at the piano, American songbook standards, and music from the bebop tradition: Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus.

 

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."    Facebook Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

 

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Really great - a pianist's drummer for sure

I saw him years ago in Paris with his electric bebop band - two saxes, two electric guitars and electric bass (Steve Swallow if i'm not mistaken). Very interesting approach, somewhere between bebop, modern jazz and jazz rock.

R.I.P.

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Since this is a thread to pay respects, and not too many posts yet, I'll add a bit more of a tribute - not to overdo it, but maybe some who don't know Paul Motian's playing will find it interesting.

 

Music critics who criticized PM should consider the ultimate endorsement: that there was something in his playing that made Jarrett, Bill Evans and Paul Bley want him for their drummer. He was an original, and I think his style influenced and helped create the now famous Jarrett groove.

 

I believe Paul Bley best suited Paul Motian's concept and vice versa. Some of my favorite PM is on a trio album in the 90's with Paul Bley and Charlie Haden. I think it's called "Memoirs".

 

There's a ballad on the CD where Bley intentionally stretched the time (slower/faster) and Haden and Motian went along with it. Then Motian started keeping strict time against the time stretch, until the drums became completely opposite from the bass and piano in the time. Once the beat was backwards, Paul Motian kept it there, opened up and started embellishing it, like a naughty kid celebrating the freedom of doing something 'wrong'. It was intentional and brilliant, but one reviewer, unaware of Motian's concept, said he couldn't play and that Bley shouldn't have used him on the session. :)

 

Paul Motian could play deep, intense and complex, but always with a childlike purity, like the thrill of picking up sticks for the first time. Each moment was organically raw and technically abstract, sort of like the T. Monk of drums. Musicality was more important to him than the traditional role of his instrument. So that's my take on what I hear in PM's playing.

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It took me a while to find something to say. He was 80, true, but you think that certain people are never going to die.

A true musician, a gentle person, an inspiring force behind several of our favorite pianists, a creative human being, and, of course, an underrated overall artist.

RIP Paul Motian. You will live forever in the hundred of great recordings that you've left us, and especially in the fact that your playing has made us all better musicians and better people.

 

Sorry if it sounds a bit emphatic... that's what my heart is saying to me.

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blKYD-BNMuo&feature=related

 

 

 

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