Paul Motian - 1931-2011

Drummer Paul Motian was one of my favorite musicians of all time. I heard him at the Vanguard and Visiones in NYC many times in the mid to late 1980s - the Trio with Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell. One of my most enduring memories is of him hitting his cymbals hard at the end of the last tune of the last set, jumping up from his kit and heading out the door of the club just as the ring of the cymbal died away.

It didn't feel disrespectful. For me it was just part of the show. He was mysterious. He had an almost child-like way of playing that belied his incredible depth and complexity as a musician.

Here are some of my favorite records of his as a leader and with Keith Jarrett's American quartet of the 1970s (all of which I have on vinyl):

Conception Vessel The Story of Maryam Psalm Tribute Misterioso

With the Keith Jarrett Quartet:

Mysteries Treasure Island Fort Yawuh Shades El Juicio Mourning of a Star Birth Expectations Byablue Bop-Be