Monday, July 20, 2015

Paul Bley - EmArcy MG 36092

Some releases of this album present the material in a slightly different order. Juggle the tunes in any fashion, however, the message is the same : This is one of the earliest recordings by this great jazz pianist. While it is, in fact, difficult to avoid traces of the way he plays here in most of his later work, the reverse cannot be said. Pick a personality trait of the Paul Bley style and chances are it won't be found anywhere here, as lovely a piano trio jazz record as this is. His style here is straight bebop, with comparisons in order to players such as Wynton Kelly and Lennie Tristano. He is neither as romantic as the former nor as brilliant as the latter, and he also has many of the traits of a youthful player here, filling in too many of the spaces and hitting some of the written themes as if he's scared someone is going to slap him on the wrist if he makes a mistake. Even under these conditions, he is a really good pianist. His taste in tunes is great, and there is a superb rhythm section. Both the bassists, Percy Heath and Peter Ind, are masters. The latter name might suggest an ability to move more forward in the Tristano direction; that happens only slightly. Drummer Alan Levitt does a great job throughout and is the only player that makes much use of dynamics. For the most part the tone of the pianist remains almost frigid in its consistency ; volume level rarely varies and the direction of the improvisations is solidly mainstream. This group could survive the scrutiny of any jazz coffeehouse owner known for firing bands for slight infractions of volume, playing a wrong-sounding note, or doing a tune written after 1962. Especially that last rule, since this material stems from three recording sessions in 1954. Yet it should be stressed, again, that this is quite a nice record of jazz piano trio music. The obvious problem with someone like Bley or Jimi Hendrix is that once they developed their totally unique musical personality, their earlier work starts to sound a little boring.
Eugene Chadbourne

Source :

Paul Bley
MG 36092


1 Topsy (Battle, Durham)  2:44
2 My Heart (Bley)  2:37
3 That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain)  2:38
4 There'll Never Be Another You (Warren, Gordon)  5:48
5 Autumn Breeze (Jackson)  3:09
6 I Want to Be Happy (Youmans, Caesar)  2:17
7 My Old Flame (Coslow, Johnston)  3:28
8 Time on My Hands (Youmans, Gordon, Adamson)  3:30
9 Drum One (Bley)  2:22
10 This Can't Be Love (Rodgers, Hart)  3:07
11 My One and Only (What Am I Gonna Do) (Gershwin, Gershwin)  6:44
12 52nd Street Theme (Monk)  2:51


[# 5 & 9]

Paul Bley - p
Percy Heath - b
Alan Levitt - dr
Recorded at Fine Sound Studios, New York City ; February 3, 1954
[# 1-4 & 7]

Paul Bley - p
Peter Ind - b
Alan Levitt - dr
Recorded same place ; August 26, 1954
[# 6, 8, 10-12]

Same as above
Recorded same place ; August 30, 1954

See also


deGallo said...

Thank you for this upgrade.

аффтор said...

would Melanchthon existed not, he should to be created...
thanks a lot.
marvelous as always.


jazzuk said...

An upgrade for me also...many thanks

Philo said...

This is one I hadn't heard before. I am listening & enjoying. Thanks.

Frank said...

Thanks again for this wonderful resource, including this hitherto unknown to me Paul Bley record.

LaroSwing said...

Tnank you once again Melanchthon

neil said...

Rare stuff, indeed, and good to more Peter Ind too..,

cvllos said...

Ref Bley Emarcy
thank you, Melanchthon!

stringbender said...

Many thanks for posting this lovely early Paul Bley side.

feelingofjaz said...

Thanks Mel, especially, as I had confused this Emarcy with the Debut release...I can't believe I'm hearing this for the first time, and incidentally, liking it and finding it quite interesting........

JazzFan said...

Great share as all your post! Many thanks!

Foth said...

Many thanks...looking forward to this.

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

bho wani said...

Thanks, Melanchthon !

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

rebf942 said...

Never heard this - many thanks.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Melanchthon said...

neil said...

New to me, mel; many thanks...

neil said...

... that is since I've lost my original download.