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Paul Motian [Box set]

Paul Motian Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Music

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Biography

Paul Motian convened this trio for a special project at New York’s Village Vanguard in February 2009. From a week of concert recordings, Motian and producer Manfred Eicher subsequently selected the material presented on Lost In A Dream. The album puts an emphasis on balladry, using ballads as vehicles for profound soloing and group playing. In these touching performances of Paul’s ... Read more in Amazon's Paul Motian Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B00BD7ZPE0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,909 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

ECM salutes the late, great drummer with an Old & New Masters Edition box of six of his early albums on the label. The recordings from 1972 to 1984 are Conception Vessel, Tribute, Dance, Le Voyage, Psalm and It Should've Happened A Long Time Ago.

Paul Motian's innovative drumming with the great trios of Bill Evans and Paul Bley had already assured him of a place in jazz's history books, but Motian had not considered life as a bandleader until ECM proposed a recording session under his own name. Conception Vessel opened floodgates of creativity. Through these recordings we hear not only the evolution of several outstanding Motian ensembles and the birth of the enduring Motian/Frisell/Lovano trio, but also the growth of confidence of a unique jazz composer. In Paul's music, memories of Turkish and Armenian melodies he had heard as a child were filtered through a love of jazz.

Early in his career, Paul had played with Thelonious Monk, and Monk's wayward sense of dynamics remained a reference for him, but he also loved the free expressive possibilities of the new jazz. Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden, regular partners in Keith's trio and quartet, encouraged Paul's creative flight on, respectively, Conception Vessel and Tribute. With Dance and Le Voyage, the trios with Charles Brackeen recorded 1977 and 1979, Motian shaped a soundworld entirely his own, and a blueprint for the future. This box set includes extensive liner notes by pianist Ethan Iverson and rare historical photos of the musicians.

Product Description

ECM 2260; ECM RECORDS - Germania; Pop Jazz

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forces in motion 2 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD
Boxed sets like this one are a great way for a label to repackage its back catalogue, especially as in this case it includes a couple of (in this reviewer's opinion) lost gems from the 1970s. So here we have the CONCEPTION VESSEL, TRIBUTE, DANCE, LE VOYAGE, PSALM and IT SHOULD'VE HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO albums available in one hit.

It's the second and third that are those gems. Both of them feature drummer Motian in the company of tenor / soprano sax player Charles Brackeen, with David Izenzon and J.F. Jenny-Clark fulfilling the bass duties in each case. The level of understanding between the four men is exceptional, and the two bass players each bring an individual sensibility to the music. Izenzon contributed vitally to an Ornette Coleman trio in the previous decade, and he's surely up there with Gary Peacock, Barry Guy, William Parker, Henry Grimes and Charlie Haden as one of the most skilled bass players in the free and near free realms. Motian was of course one of the few drummers out there with a singular approach, while Brackeen, who manages the not inconsiderable feat of coaxing a highly individual sound out of both his saxophones of choice, is in this reviewer's opinion simply one of the most undervalued musicians around.....if indeed he still is around. "Kalypso" (on DANCE) is arguably unique in its combination of lightness of spirit with seriousness of purpose, and because it is it serves to highlight how musicians sometimes don't listen as deeply as they could, at least on record.

The trio of Motian, guitarist Bill Frisell and tenor sax player Joe Lovano as featured on the last album referred to above exhibits by comparison a different strain of dark romanticism.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The above review is of a different box set... 13 Jun 2013
By Dr Jazz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The above review by Stuart Jefferson refers to a different box set, namely Paul Motian's Soul Note/Black Saint recordings [ASIN:B003PCL1AS The Complete Remastered Recordings], NOT Motian's ECM recordings as shown on this page.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SOME OF MOTIAN'S BEST WRITING AND PLAYING 17 Aug 2013
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE ECM BOX SET. THE REVIEW PLACEMENT FOR THE BLACK SAINT/SOUL NOTE BOX SET HAS BEEN CORRECTED BY AMAZON, AND IS UNDER THE PROPER AMAZON PAGE FOR THAT BOX SET. SO YOU CAN NOW DISREGARD DR. JAZZ' POST.

Perhaps it's because fans of Motian's music already own most (or all) of the six albums included in this set. Or maybe it's because many jazz fans aren't familiar with Motian's music. So, just in case someone missed out on, or wants a little insight into, his music, I thought I'd write a little bit about the included music. Hopefully it will spark interest in someone to give Motian a listen.

Motian was one of those drummers who wasn't "just a drummer" in the usual time-keeping sense. He was also concerned with the melody of a tune--adding some color and interest to virtually everything he played on. And he (obviously) sounded even better when paired with a good double bassist. Combine his skills as a player with his composing skills and you have an all around good musician.

"Conception Vessel" (from 1972) is still considered a classic of sorts. Bassist Charlie Haden was crucial to the overall sound. And along with Keith Jarrett's piano and flute, the underrated Sam Brown-guitar, the occasional violin of Leroy Jenkins (known for his free jazz playing) who adds some good color, Becky Friend's violin playing here and there--you have a pretty good band. Overall this is a pretty strong album of compositions (all by Motian), with songs like "Georgian Bay" the title track, and "Inspiration From A Vietnamese Lullaby" showing how well this band played together.

"Tribute" (1974), retained Brown and Haden, but added Carlos Ward-alto sax, and another guitarist, Paul Metzke. You might think that Ward was the featured player, but it's the guitarists that are front and center. When Ward did step out his playing was assured and a good fit with the band. Both guitarists add a great deal of color and interest to the compositions (three by Motian, one each from Coleman and Haden), and their playing is the highlight of the album. Motian, as usual, plays sparingly as far as traditional time keeping, but leads the band in his subtle way through great tracks like "Tuesday Ends Saturday", "War Orphans", and "Song For Che". This is a very good set of jazz.

"Dance (1977) and "Le Voyage" (1979), both have similar personnel. Charles Brackeen-tenor/soprano sax, is heard alongside Motian. The former set has David Izenzon (known for his playing with Coleman) on bass, and the latter set has Jean Francois Jenny-Clark (well known in Europe) replacing Izenzon on bass. Brackeen is known for his sharp, incisive style of playing, and is a bit of a surprise (I think) to find him with Motian. His tone is similar to Ornette Coleman's, but at times his playing is very lyrical in an abstract way. Listen to "Lullaby" (from the "Dance" album) for a good example of this. Izenzon gets a deep full sound from his bass, while Jenny-Clark plays a bit more rhythmically. But both players add a slightly different yet very fine sound in a trio setting. "Waltz Song", "Dance", "Asia", and "Lullaby" from the "Dance" album are standout tracks, while "Folk Song For Rosie", and the title track from the latter album are good examples of that particular trio's sound. Both sets are a slightly refreshing change of sound from Motian's other bands in this collection.

"Psalm" (1981), finds the good tenor sax player Joe Lovano on board, with Bill Frisell playing some fine guitar. The bassist is Ed Schuller (someone I'm not familiar with), whose playing sounds a bit undefined--especially after the double bassists that Motian employed on previous albums. Likewise Billy Drewes on tenor/alto sax--another player I'm not familiar with. His tone and style just didn't seem to fit with either the other musicians or the compositions (all by Motian), he just didn't seem to get into the meat of the compositions--almost sounding in the way of others. But (again to my ears) the overall playing on this album didn't seem to come up to previous albums. And while both Lovano and Frisell play wonderfully, some of the music seems to lack focus compared to previous albums. But some of Motian's compositions are great--including the title track, "Second Hand", "Etude", and "Yallah".

"It Should've Happened A Long Time Ago" (1984), is a good return to form. Again, all the tracks are by Motian in this trio setting. Lovano and Frisell are back, and paired down to a trio gives each player room (and time) to explore the music. The combination of Motian's writing and the fine musicianship make this album one of the better sets here. Check out the title track, another version of "Conception Vessel", "India", and "Two Women From Padua". All in all a fine album.

More than likely if you've read this far you're a fan of Motian's writing and playing abilities. Hopefully others will come across this box set and be willing to take a chance on some of the better (then) contemporary jazz that was being recorded. Six albums of this caliber for relatively little money is to good to pass up. The 48 page booklet has a good essay on the music, along with a few b&w photos of various band members. Also included are (as usual with these sets) b&w repros of the album covers. The discs sit in cardboard slips, and everything fits inside a substantial lidded box. If you haven't heard Motian, stretch your ears a bit and see if you don't agree that his music should be wider known. If you want more of Motian's music, check out his work for the Black Saint/Soul Note labels in a fine box set released a while back. Hopefully Amazon will post this review under the correct box set--something they didn't do with my review of the Black Saint box set.
4.0 out of 5 stars The first 5, plus 1 23 Feb 2014
By G B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
With this package and the one released around the same time that covers his Soul Note album, all of Motian's early work as a leader has gotten the box set treatment. With a few exceptions I don't think either box covers his best work, but the music is generally at a very high level. Besides the leader's excellent work as a composer and drummer, you get a wide swath of extremely interesting sidemen.

The ECM box contains Motian's first 5 albums as a leader, plus 1 album recorded a few years later once he had moved onto the Soul Note label. Stylistically and lineup-wise, they can be split into 3 pairs:

1) Conception Vessel and Tribute. These parallel, to me, Tony Williams's first two albums on Blue Note (Life Time and Spring). CV is a mix of different lineups with include (on different tracks) Charlie Haden, Keith Jarrett, Sam Brown and Leroy Jenkins. Tribute is, of the six albums in this box, the one outright classic - Brown and Haden return to the lineup, and are joined by alto saxophonist Carlos Ward and a second guitarist.

2) Dance and Le Voyage. This was Motian's first working group, a trio with the Ornette-influenced saxophonist Charles Brackeen and a bassist (David Izenzon on Dance, Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark on Le Voyage). Dance is in my opinion the weakest album in this box; given the firepower this band could offer, it's incredibly restrained (you get a sense of what they were capable of on "Prelude" and "Dance". Le Voyage is stronger and harder-hitting. An underrated album in Motian's catalogue.

3) Psalm and It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago. Psalm was Motian's first recording with Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell (as part of a quintet), and ISHaLTA was his first TRIO recording with them. The albums in the Soul Note box feature similar lineups and round out this period. While I wouldn't call either album the best thing Motian did with Frisell and Lovano (either as a trio or within a quintet), they are both very good and worth hearing.

With the exception of Tribute, I wouldn't put any of these albums in the very top tier of Motian's work as a leader. But people who like the later albums on JMT, Winter & Winter and ECM will probably find a lot to like here (and should also consider picking up the Soul Note box).
5.0 out of 5 stars once again ecm 5 Jan 2014
By bigyank61 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
as with your package of charles llyod quartets you've made this paul motian fan very happy. timely also with paul's recent passing.
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