Artist's Choice: Joe Lovano on Paul Motian

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Monday March 25, 2013


Artist’s Choice: Joe Lovano on Paul Motian
By: Joe Lovano

One of the most swinging and creative drummers in jazz history, Paul Motian had a sound, touch, feeling and approach all his own that developed throughout his lifetime, and his relationships fueled his ideas. As a composer he also had a story; his pieces expressed his strong personality and experiences. My focus in this article is to highlight Paul’s innovative contributions as a drummer, composer, collaborator and leader.

‘Conception Vessel’
_Paul Motian
Conception Vessel_ (ECM, 1973)
This album was Paul’s first as a leader and put into motion the amazing body of work that resulted over the next 40 years or so. This duet with Keith Jarrett speaks volumes to me and is one of my favorite compositions of Paul’s.

‘(If the) Misfits (Wear It)’
Keith Jarrett
Fort Yawuh (Impulse!, 1973)
I had the great fortune to hear the Keith Jarrett Quartet with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul live in Boston at the Jazz Workshop, just before they recorded this amazing album live at the Village Vanguard. Before his explosive solo, Paul is swinging so hard in his accompaniment and yet playing free as a bird. Pure music!

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