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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In memory of Paul Bley

 By Stef

Many of you have in the meantime heard about the passing away of pianist Paul Bley, a true visionary of modern music, and of the piano itself. As the pictures above try to demonstrate, he started out as a non-conventional musical transformer, and we knew him of late as a wisened and sensitive pianist with a legacy that few can reach.

In all the years of his artistry, he may have covered a large variety of styles and formats, from fierce combos and bigger ensembles to chamber music and solo performances, but the key to all his music, and this from the very beginning, was the relentless emphasis on improvisation, performed with focus and discipline, allowing him to go deep in his art which was emotional, sensitive, once in a while dramatic or with touches of fun, and even little jokes (check the Live In Oslo video below for all of these).

A real human.

His music will stay with us for always. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.


Federico Antin said...

Stef, lovely, touching words, thanks thanks thanks!!!
As I said earlier, Paul and his music, forever and ever with all of us...

Unknown said...

Thank you Stef for these heart felt words. Nice piece. Will be playing his music today.

Chris Nielsen said...

I learnt of Paul Bley's passing just after I ordered a number of his recordings from Justin Time records. It always comes as a shock to me when a great musician leaves this world. The music they produce is immortal and I guess I think of the person in the same fashion. One of the first records I ever purchased, about 38 years ago, was Paul Bley live with Ornette Coleman at the Hillcrest Club. This led me to follow the music of both Ornette Coleman and Paul Bley. Paul was a giant of creative music who played with great emotion and thoughtfulness. I find his music to be deeply personal; there was never a superfluous note, and he will be sorely missed.

FreeJazz Jeff said...

From one Canadian to another, may your essence continue to flow in all the arteries of Creativity forever, Paul !!
A 'rara avis' indeed.