Tuesday, 22 November 2011

RIP Paul Motian

One of the great great drummers of our time Paul Motian passed away this morning in Manhattan at the age of 80, a result of a bone marrow disorder. Paul Motian was to this day one of the legends of musicians - a musician's musician. Everyone wanted to play with him. From one of the most legendary trios of pianist Bill Evans in the 60's to Keith Jarrett's American Quartet; from Winter & Winter to ECM; from being the closest to a "house musician" at the Village Vanguard, Mr. Motian had a feel on the drums unlike anyone else. With a relaxed but clear touch, a laid back feel and a child-like sense of humor, he lead some of my favorite groups in the 90's when I was getting into jazz. To date some of my favorite records are the Paul Motian "On Broadway" series of records with Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell and guests.  The Frisell/Motian/Lovano trio is another favorite and I went through a phase of listening to his Electric Bebop Band almost religiously.
Paul Motian because of his stature, willingness to play and rules of engagement was a constant source of conversation amongst musicians in New York. Motian was eager to record and play, but had rules - a set price, no rehearsal and no charts. you think that's odd? I did too but listen to some of the records where he is a sideman in recent years - beautiful! Motian will be missed everywhere and remembered with nothing but joy.

One of my favorite recordings:

Electric bebop Band:


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