Jazz Geekery: Must Listen

NPR : Jazz Drummer Paul Motian

Terry Gross interviews the drummer for some of Bill Evans most lauded work. I subscribe to the podcast for Fresh Air and was finally catching up due to break in de-boxing.

Motian was part of one of the best jazz trios ever with Evans and Scott LeFaro. I don’t know a jazz pianist who hasn’t been influenced by Evans. This lineup of the trio was noted for their interplay, and Gross does a great job talking about this with Motian. Some hardcore jazz people derided the music created during this time period as dinner jazz or jazz-lite, but if you are a player, you can’t help but marvel at the way Evans, Motian and LeFaro let the playing do the talking without ego or bombast. Also, great insight about Evans heroin problem and insecurities and sensitivities as an artist. Perhaps Evans had a lot in comment with current emo artists?

Highly Recommended: The Complete Village Vanguard Sessions recorded in 1961. These sessions yielded a crapload of albums, outtakes and will melt your heart with their beauty. Unless you are a goth. Then your heart is already melted and hardened into stone, so there’s no point, really.

  • Stu Mark

    You can take Motian and LaFaro’s grooves and mix them with any of the greats: Guaraldi, Silver, Monk, Ellington, Lewis, Jamal, etc, and that would open a whole new look into those pianists. I would love to have a time machine and a shitpot of money, so I could get those guys in the studio. And, yes, I would save Scott LaFaro’s life, even though it might dramatically effect modern music.

    Don’t get me wrong, my favorite rhythm section in Jazz is still Holland and DeJohnette, so I like the other direction as well. But for the Bill Evans archetype of jazz, LaFaro and Motian were genius, and arguably the very beginning of the Ambient movement.

  • patatomic

    Not to be a total jazzhole here, but including Vince Guaraldi in the same category as Monk? Ellington?

  • thewalrus

    you must believe in spring and undercurrents, two bill evans albums on my top five favorite jazz albums. I think I’m going to go stick them in the player right now.

  • J. Bo

    Guaraldi may not not have been of the caliber as Ellington or Monk, but he was mighty fine. As Jeff Goldblum’s session-musician character said in “Lush Life,” “There’s a place in the world for those who are merely… excellent.”

    And the Village Vanguard Sessions? Flat-out AWESOME.

  • Yoyo !

    Great interview. Thanks for sharing.
    Have you ever heard the Petrucciani – Gadd – Jackson trio ? Amazing, too.
    For example :
    and :