2007-02-05Paul Motian has been referred to as “the Picasso of jazz drummers.” His subtly fragmented rhythms have been the backdrop For a number of seminal piano-bass-drum trios. (Check our library for Bill Evans’ “Waltz for Debby” and the more recent Frank Kimbrough album “Play” for fine examples of this.) For the past decade he has been working with a revolving door of sax and guitar players in what he calls his “personal orchestra” originally known as the Electric Bebop Band, to create a uniquely nostalgic bridge between bebop and the early avant-garde ovement. Motian is credited as the composer for half of the tunes on this new effort with arrangements of songs by Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker filling out the bill. The interplay of the guitars is always interesting and the horns’ dissonant harmonies recall Mingus and early Ornette Coleman. Motian and bassist Harris keep them all in line with deceptively tight structures and modulations. Most of these tunes are mid-tempo to ballads with Monk’s “Evidence” and Parker’s too brief “Cheryl” closing out the album with it’s most toe-tapping moments. More good stuff from another legend continuing to make his mark on modern jazz. Enjoy! - Calin
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