on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2014 9 Mai

Play Blue, Play Wild, Play Sombre

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 3 Comments

Expat Canadian piano star Paul Bley, the man with the vision to hire the unknown Ornette Coleman back in the 1950s, was 75 when this solo concert was recorded by ECM’s Jan Erik Kongshaug and Manfred Eicher at the Oslo jazz festival – still exposing his profound knowledge of jazz to unflinching spontaneous reexamination. All the pieces are originals except for Sonny Rollins’s Pent-Up House, and if the blues remain a constant undercurrent, they’re forever being harried, stretched, compressed and artfully disguised. Bley often floats in a pulseless dream of molten runs and pealing trills, but familiar-sounding hooks keep appearing, even if over chords that seem to belong to other melodies entirely. Way Down South Suite begins like a sepulchrally slow jazz blues, then swings, stops dead, and resumes in flinty single notes and dense, clipped runs. Flame is like a Thelonious Monk ballad, but the resolutions to its phrasing spin and prance as if trying to break free of the song. Pent Up House is a thoroughly recognisable but flirtatious dance with the original. It’s personal, meditative, occasionally sombre music, but it couldn’t be anyone other than Paul Bley behind it.

– John Fordham, in today’s edition of The Guardian

This entry was posted on Freitag, 9. Mai 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Henning:

    So, nach dem kunstvollen Kommentar können wir auch diese Scheibe wieder ablegen, oder? Was sagt uns/Ihnen/Euch denn dieser schöne Kommentar?

    Bei meinem letzten Gespräch mit Paul Bley, es war am 13.Mai 2009 vor einem Solokonzert, also fast 9 Monate nach dieser Aufnahme, bemerkt er, dass er versuche, so schlecht wie möglich zu spielen, d.h. den Umständen entsprechend so schlecht wie möglich. Da zählt nicht das fertige (wegtragbare) Ergebnis, sondern eher die Weise des Tuns und Seins.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Ablegen? Ich höre sie gerade. Mit Freude.

  3. Henning:

    ‚wir‘ bezog sich auf den, der schrieb!

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