Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Coming In From Outside
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 09/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 80's, with the success of the New Traditionalist movement in jazz, many players of the first and second generation of the avant-garde began to do "In the Tradition" albums, or "Stnadards" trios. Some of these albums gave you an idea of why these performers were "out" musicians...but most prooved once and for all that out and in were not mutually exclusive. One of the best of these albums was My Standard by one of the two great out pianists of the first generation, Paul Bley.Unlike most other out pianists, Paul Bley never fell under the Taylor spell...though he could blow frenetic with the best of them, his music was always infused with a chamber-like sensibility and a deep romantic streak that often seemed about to break into a standard. In My Standard, this is exactly what he does. Forming an expert trio with the fabulous Billy Hart on drums and Jesper Lundgaard on bass Bley tackles 14 standards and three "tune" of his own (A.R.B. sounds freely improvised). While this is technically "inside" playing, the group approaches the material with a great deal of freedom...sometimes leaving the chord changes for measures on end, only to return when you least expect it. Bley's harmonic sense is both spare, and lush at the same time, if you can imagine that. His lines at times resemble the long twisted improvisations of Lennie Tristano, spinning invention after invention from the keyboard. This album is on a par with the best of the Standards Trio (Keith Jarrett, Jack Dejohnette and Gary Peacock). Bley can look on the surface like he is a similar player to Jarrett, but in reality they live in different worlds...Jarrett is more openly emotional, Bley more controlled...but with an undisguised romantic streak. If this group doesn't quite reach the heights of the Standards Trio it is because they never played together as long...and as a result never developed quite the rapport that Jarrett, De Johnette and Peacock have. (A pairing of Bley, Peacock and De Johnette would certainly be interesting. Peacock and Bley have worked together extensively since the 60s and De Johnette is just the kind of drummer that Bley should work with, driving and yet very sensetive.) All jazz pianists should check this album out. Bley shows the life that can be pumped into even the most tired of standards."