Jazz drumming legend Paul Motian died last Tuesday at age 80 due to complications of a bone marrow disorder. My first exposure to Motian was through his output with Bill Evans in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Motian was a member of Evans’ trio when they recorded a pair of immortal albums at New York’s Village Vanguard in 1961 — Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby.
Motian recorded and performed almost up until his death, although to be honest it’s his Evans stint I remember the most. But hey, there are worse things to be remembered for, right? For my humble remembrance of Motian, then, a selection from Waltz for Debby. It’s the Miles David modal workout “Milestones.” Listen to Motian carry the tune along as Evans and bassist Scott LaFaro play off each other brilliantly.
- Paul Motian Dead: Influential Jazz Drummer and Composer Played With Bill Evans (spinner.com)
- Joe Lovano Quintet – Village Ryhthm (Soul Note, 1988) (jazzandblues.blogspot.com)
- Augusto Pirodda / Gary Peacock / Paul Motian: No Comment (Review) (popmatters.com)
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