Paul Bley

Paul Bley ( born November 10, 1932 in Montreal ) is a Canadian jazz pianist of free jazz and the Modern Creative style, which is considered a " silent Genius of Free Jazz " ( Melody Maker). Bleys game and his compositions radiate Martin Kunzler, according to " rest and impress with clarity. " His improvisations " have found a sovereignty that the old distinction between traditional jazz - he was tonal or modal -. , And makes you forget the free play " He lived and worked for a long time in the USA.


Bley learned as a child from 1938 violin and piano from 1940. Even with eleven years was completed in 1944 his musical education at McGill Conservatory. In 1946 he formed his first band. In 1948 he learned in his hometown of Montreal Oscar Peterson know, who introduced him to the jazz scene in 1949 and of which he took over the rhythm section. Bley led the Montreal Jazz Workshop, to which he brought musicians such as Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins to Montreal.

1950 Bley moved to New York where he studied at the Juilliard School of Music until 1954. While studying Bley musician continued, completed tours with Art Blakey, Louis Armstrong and others. He dealt with the concept of Lennie Tristano and received in 1953 by Charles Mingus the opportunity to his debut album.

1957 Carla Bley married Borg, who gained a name in the jazz world as Carla Bley and initially composed for him. Cooperation should have just valid for ten years. From 1957 to 1959 Bley was living in Los Angeles, where he not only played with Chet Baker, but his own trio, often with Billy Higgins and Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro, in 1958 to the still unknown Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry and Bobby Hutcherson has been extended. In 1959 he returned to New York, where the " Jimmy Giuffre Trio " formed by the clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre with Steve Swallow and Bley. This formation occurred for the first time now in Europe and played on three albums, one including Freefall at Columbia. Bley had then experimented with stylistic devices of new music and different approaches to " an aesthetically ambitious concept " connected.

In addition to his involvement with other jazz greats in the 1960s, Bley had his own trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. In the first half of the 1960s tried to find Paul Bley with bassist freer musical expression in the then in transition located and very experimental jazz scene. 1964 Bley was one of the key people in the so-called " October Revolution " in the Cellar Café New York, in which the musicians of the American free jazz formed a platform. Bley became an important pianists of this genre. As co-founder of the Jazz Composers Guild ( 1964), he also worked in a duo with David Izenzon and with Giuseppi Logan, Archie Shepp and John Tchicai. As a pianist in Sonny Rollins ' group ( 1963), he visited Japan. 1965 and 1966 he stayed for a much-publicized appearance with Mingus in New York's Five Spot for a long time in Europe.

In the late 1960s came Bleys new girlfriend Annette Peacock on the scene, who also worked as a composer for him and performed together with him. 1968 used Bley Synthesizer for the first time, and as the first jazz group continued his trio in 1969 a large electronic live set ( in the Philharmonic Hall in New York City ) a. This resulted in the Bley - Peacock Synthesizer Show.

In 1971, Paul Bley turned increasingly to solo performances, concerts brought back to Europe. 1972 saw the recording of his first solo album. In 1974, Bley record label Improvising Artists Inc. ( IAI), together with the video artist Carol Goss, the illustrated Bleys performances by specially-designed film sequences. Besides recording some synth solo albums IAI also documented numerous sessions with other musicians ( IAI had, inter alia, Pat Metheny records his debut ). Bley has now released more than 100 albums, often with his companions since the 1960s: Giuffre, Swallow, Peacock and Motian.

Numerous tours lead Paul Bley again to Europe, including with Evan Parker and Barre Phillips.

1999 Paul Bley has presented his autobiography "Stopping Time". 2003 interview book was published under the title " Time Will Tell".

Discography (selection)

  • Coleman Classics ( with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins), IAI, taken in 1958
  • Barrage ( with Marshall Allen, Dewey Johnson, Eddie Gomez, Milford Graves), ESP-Disk, was added in 1964
  • Dual Unity ( with Annette Peacock, Han Bennink, Mario Pavone, Laurence Cook)
  • Freedom ( with Gary Peacock) ECM 1970
  • Open, to Love ( solo piano), ECM, 1972
  • The Paul Bley Quartet ( with John Surman, Bill Frisell and Paul Motian ), ECM, 1987
  • The Life of a Trio: Saturday and Sunday ( with Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Swallow ), Owl, 1989
  • Partners ( with Gary Peacock ), 1990
  • Not Two, Not One ( with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian ), ECM, 1999
  • Nothing to Declare ( solo piano ), 2004