music clip of the day


Tag: Paul Motian

Tuesday, March 24th

three takes

“Spring Is Here” (R. Rogers, L. Hart), 1938

Audra McDonald (1970-), live



Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), 1958



Bill Evans Trio (BE, 1929-1980, piano; Scott LaFaro, 1936-1961, bass; Paul Motian, 1931-2011, drums), 1959




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.



NPR Music: A List of Live Virtual Concerts to Watch During the Coronavirus Shutdown.”

Thursday, June 29th


Geri Allen, pianist, June 12, 1957-June 27, 2017

With Kenny Davis (bass), Kassa Overall (drums), Maurice Chestnut (tap dance), live, South Korea, 2011



With Charlie Haden (1937-2014, bass), Paul Motian (1931-2011, drums), “Lonely Woman” (O. Coleman), 1988


Wednesday, May 3rd


Paul Motian (drums, 1931-2011), Charlie Haden (bass, 1937-2014), Geri Allen (piano, 1957-), “Lonely Woman” (O. Coleman), 1988


Saturday, April 29th

voices I miss

He played drums with the spareness and delicacy of a haiku poet.

Anat Fort (piano), Gary Wang (bass), Paul Motian (drums, 1931-2011), “Just Now,” live, New York, 2008


Friday, January 6th

sounds of New York

What other drummer does so much with so little?

Paul Motian Trio (PM, drums; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Bill Frisell, guitar), “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago” (P. Motian), live, New York, 2005


Thursday, January 7th


Paul Bley, pianist, November 10, 1932-January 3, 2016

Live, 1970s?


With Charlie Haden (bass), live, New York, 2000


With John Gilmore (tenor saxophone), Gary Peacock (bass), Paul Motian (drums; or Billy Elgart, side 2, tracks 2-3), Turning Point, rec. 1964/1968

Side 1

Side 2


Live, Norway (Oslo), 2008




reading table

I held a Jewel in my fingers –
And went to sleep –
The day was warm, and winds were prosy—
I said ”Twill keep” –

I woke – and chid my honest fingers,
The Gem was gone –
And now, an Amethyst remembrance
Is all I own –

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), #261 (Franklin)

Monday, 9/3/12

 joy, n. listening to Paul Motian play Monk.

Paul Motian Trio (PM, drums; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Bill Frisell, guitar), “Misterioso” (T. Monk), live, New York (Village Vanguard), 2005



art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Jasper Johns, Corpse and Mirror II (1974-75)


reading table

up to today
such a healthy singer . . .

—Kobayashi Issa, 1813 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Thursday, 8/30/12

playing this weekend at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts* (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.)
“We See” (T. Monk), live, New York, 2011

(Paul Motian, this guy—drummers seem to have a particular feeling for Monk.)


Steve Coleman and Five Elements** (Sunday, 7:10 p.m.)
Live, New York, 2010


Ken Vandermark’s Made To Break Quartet*** (Sunday, 2:20 p.m.)
Live, Barcelona, 2011


*MW, drums; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Gary Versace, piano; Martin Wind, bass.

**SC, alto saxophone; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Tim Albright, trombone; Miles Okazaki, guitar; David Virelles, piano; Thomas Morgan, bass; Marcus Gilmore, drums.

***KV, reeds; Christof Kurzmann, electronics; Devin Hoff, bass; Tim Daisy, drums.

Sunday, 2/19/12

the first voice Whitney heard

Emily “Cissy” Houston (born Emily Drinkard), singer, 1933-

The Drinkard Singers (Cissy Houston, lead vocals), “Lift Him Up,” live (TV broadcast), c. early 1960s



Live (TV broadcast), 1970

“Be My Baby” (P. Spector, J. Barry & E. Greenwich)


“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” (B. Bacharach & H. David)


listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, cello (Archiv Production)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Partitas Nos. 3, 4, 6, Jeremy Denk, piano (Azica)

• Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 8 (“Pathetique”), 23 (“Appassionata”), Rudolf Serkin, piano (CBS)

• Alfred Cortot, The Master Pianist (EMI)

• Claude Debussy, Pour Le Piano, Etudes Books 1 & 2, Gordon Fergus-Thompson, piano (Musical Heritage Society)

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide In Black (In the Red Records)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, John Tilbury, piano (London Hall)

• Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet, Aki Takahashi (piano), Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

• Mary Halvorson Quintet, Saturn Sings (Firehouse)

• Slim Harpo, The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki; Kim Kashkashian (viola), Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Dennis Russell Davies, cond.), Lachrymae (ECM)

• Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings)

• Jimmie Lunceford, The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

• Guilliaume de Michaut, Motets, The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM)

• Paul Motian Trio (with Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell), Sound of Love (Winter & Winter)

• Mudd Up!, WFMU-FM (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)

• Pee Wee Russell, Swingin’ with Pee Wee (Prestige)

• Pharoah Sanders, Karma (GRP)

• Pharoah Sanders, Live (Evidence)

• Giacinto Scelsi, Natura Renovatur (ECM)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Piano Works, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

• Sinner’s Crossroads, WFMU-FM (Kevin Nutt, gospel)

• Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)

• Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin, piano (RCA/BMG)

• Anton Webern, Complete Music for String Quartet, Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Works for String Quartet, Emerson Quartet (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Wild Flag, Wild Flag (Merge)

Wednesday, 12/28/11

more favorites from the past year



Is any drummer more lyrical?

Paul Motian, drummer, composer, collaborator, bandleader
March 25, 1931-November 22, 2011

Paul Motian Trio (PM, drums; Joe Lovano, saxophone; Bill Frisell, guitar), “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago” (P. Motian), live, New York (Village Vanguard), 2005



Sometimes he would strip a beat to absolute basics, the sound of brushes on a dark-toned ride cymbal and the abrupt thump of his low-tuned kick drum. Generally, a listener could locate the form, even when Mr. Motian didn’t state it explicitly.

“With Paul, there was always that ground rhythm, that ancient jazz beat lurking in the background,” said the pianist Ethan Iverson, one of the younger bandleaders who played with and learned from him toward the end.

Mr. Motian’s final week at the [Village] Vanguard was with Mr. Osby and Mr. Kikuchi, in September. “He was an economist: every note and phrase and utterance counted,” Mr. Osby said on Tuesday. “There was nothing disposable.”

—Ben Ratliff, New York Times11/22/11

(Originally posted 11/23/11.)


You’re never too young to die.

 Amy Winehouse, September 14, 1983-July 23, 2011

“Tears Dry On Their Own”

Take 1: original recording and video (2006)

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Take 2: remix by Organized Noize Dungeon Family (Big Boi)
(released 7/24/11)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Originally posted 7/26/11.)


Today we remember him with a mix of new clips and old favorites.

Gil Scott-Heron, April 1, 1949-May 27, 2011

“The Bottle,” live, Jamaica (Montego Bay, Reggae Sunsplash), 1983
Cool Runnings: The Reggae Movie (1983)


I’m New Here (2010)

“Where Did The Night Go”


“Me And The Devil” (Robert Johnson)


It’s a remix world.

“New York Is Killing Me” (2010), Chris Cunningham remix


Here’s the original track, followed by a couple more remixes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


With Nas

Vodpod videos no longer available.


With Mos Def

Vodpod videos no longer available.



musical thoughts

In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times.

—Bertolt Brecht

(Originally posted 5/30/11.)


Lloyd Knibb, drummer (Skatalites, et al.)
March 8, 1931-May 12, 2011

Lloyd Knibb’s importance to Jamaican music can’t be overstated. The inventor of the ska beat at Coxson Dodd’s Studio One, Knibb created a sound that spread like wildfire the world over.

—Carter Van Pelt, host, Eastern Standard Time, WKCR-FM

“Freedom Sound,” live, Belgium (Lokerse Festival), 1997


Live, Los Angeles, 2007




(Originally posted 5/18/11.)

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