Other Places: On Paul Motian

As Paul Motian’s latest engagement began at a venerable New York club that holds precious memories for him, Larry Blumenfeld profiled the 80-year-old drummer in The Wall Street Journal. Here’s a quote:

What turns me on isn’t technique,” he said. “It’s the sound of the drums, the way they’re tuned. I can play one beat on a tom-tom, and that might set me off. One sound leads to another. It just grows.”

The article includes Motian’s thoughts about the Bill Evans Trio, in which he became well known (“It taught me what it means to play ideas”), and reflects on his work with Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, and Bill Frisell. Blumenfeld quotes colleagues less than half Motian’s age who are profoundly affected by his music and his example. To read the piece, go here.

Here is Motian the master of brushes, cymbals, subtley and timing, with pianist Anat Fort and bassist Gary Wang last fall at the Rubin Museum in New York City.

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  1. Rob D says

    One of my favourite musicians. It feels like he’s been around forever so his age shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is.! SO many sessions graced with his considerable talents.

    Loved this clip..thanks