viernes, 6 de junio de 2014

Paul Motian - The Story Of Maryam (1984)

Paul Motian, baterista de un gusto y sutileza impecables, pero sobre todo líder. En este album debut para el sello italiano Soul Note, compone todos los temas, y se acompaña por músicos especialmente seleccionados para lograr el sonido buscado: Ed Schuller en contrabajo, dos saxos tenores (Jim Pepper y Joe Lovano), y una guitarra eléctrica extrañísima y cargada de efectos, a cargo de nada menos que Bill Frisell, que a mi entender eleva toda la sesión a otro nivel. El resultado en conjunto es único y estimulante. Tanto en los momentos más furiosos ("Look To The Black Wall") como en los más tranquilos ("The Story of Maryam"), prevalece un aire meditativo, etéreo y de extraña belleza. En una década en que tantas frivolidades y comercialismos copaban los medios, y el jazz "del bueno" escaseaba, o ya era una pieza de museo, este disco mira hacia adelante y es un faro en la noche.


Liner notes:

Side A
9 X 9 7'10"
5 Miles To Wrentham 4'54"
The Owl Of Cranston 8'15"
Side B
Trieste 5'45"
Look To The Black Wall 6'42"
The Story Of Maryam 5'47"

All compositions by Paul Motian,
Yazgol Music - BMI

Jim Pepper: tenor and soprano saxophone
Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone
Bill Frisell: electric guitar
Ed Schuller: bass
Paul Motian: drums

Recorded July 27 and 28, 1983 at Barigozzi Studio, Milano Engineer: Giancarlo Barigozzi
Mastered at PolyGram, Tribiano (Milano) Engineer: Gennaro Carone

Producer: Giovanni Bonandrini
Cover Painting and Design: Susan Woldman
Cover Photography: lsio Saba
Typography & Layout: Newstyle

For listener information. The saxophones solos are:
9 X 9: Jim Pepper / Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper and, after the bass solo, Joe Lovano.
5 Miles To Wrentham: Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper.
The Owl Of Cranston: Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper.
Trieste: Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper.
Look To The Black Wall: Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper and again Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper.
The Story Of Maryam: Joe Lovano / Jim Pepper.

Paul Motian is a percussionist and composer of rare grace and intensity. An index of the range of his imagination is his credits. He has worked with Bill Evans, Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Mose Allison, Arlo Guthrie, Charles Lloyd, Roswell Rudd, Gato Barbieri and Don Cherry, among others. Motian also leads his own groups and records under his own name as well as a sideman. This album is an especially powerful distillation of Motian's multiple skills as player, writer, and leader. Most of the songs are connected, in memory and sound, to Motian's childhood in Providence, Rhode Island.

9x9 refers to a series of nine notes played in time at the end of the piece, and the repetition of those notes hooked up to a memory of the merry-go-round on which Motian used to ride as a kid in Crescent Park, an amusement park on the outskirts of Providence.
5 Miles to Wrentham, though it sounds like an English nursery rhyme, comes from Motian's memories of walking from Providence to nearby Wrentham when he was a boy. "It was brought to mind," he says, "when, after playing Boston, a while ago, I was driving to Providence and saw a sign, 5 Miles to Wrentham. Musically, I also had Bill Evans in mind - the way the harmonies are, the sadness in the piece, and the delicacy of Bill's sound."
The Owl of Cranston is so titled because Motian has a sister living in Cranston, Rhode Island, and one time when he was staying with her, he heard an owl outside the house.
Trieste is a Paul Motian original that was recorded some years ago by Keith Jarrett. Motian has reworked the piece for this set. Although Motian had been in Trieste once when he was in the Navy, this title came from Keith Jarrett who prides himself on his ability to think up the right title for the right tune.
Look to the Black Wall is the evocation of what happens when you close your eyes and, says Motian, "you see blackness in the back of your eyelids."
The Story of Maryam is the third song written by Motian for the three women who brought him up. Rebica was for his mother; Victoria for one of his mother's sisters, and Maryam for the third sister. The family is from Turkey but is Armenian, and Motian's mother was still in Turkey during the massacre of the Armenians there. She escaped.
Of the strong sidemen on this date, Motian says of Jim Pepper (tenor saxophone and soprano on The Story of Maryam) that he comes from Oregon and that he is an American Indian (his father a Kaw, his mother a Creek). He has worked with Don Cherry, John Hicks, and Randy Brecker, among others, and got considerable play from an album in the early 1970's, Tepper's Pow Wow which included "Wit-chi-to," based on native Indian songs. "I like Jim Pepper sound," Motian says, "and the way he plays. He offsets Joe Lovano, whose sound is more traditional, sort of coming from Coltrane. Pepper is kind of post-Coltrane. Joe Lovano has worked with the big bands of Mel Lewis and Woody Herman as well as with Lonnie Liston Smith, Jack McDuff, and Carla Bley. Lovano also teaches music at Rutgers University. "He's very good," says Motian. "Very quick. He knows a lot about forms and changes and tunes. He has a good head, good memory, I trust him." Bill Frisell, a guitarist who tells a story with each note, was recommended for this date by Pat Metheny. He moves around quite a bit, having been at the University of North Carolina, the Berklee School of Music in Boston, along with having lived a few years in Belgium. Frisell has worked with Jan Garbarek and Eberhard Weber, and has recorded with Chet Baker Frisell has also done a solo set for ECM. Bassist Ed Schuller has worked with Lee Konitz, Ricky Ford, Ran Blake, and Pat Martino. Motian says of his work: "I like his sound, his enthusiasm, his ability, his knowledge. Of the different bass players I listened to for this album, Ed sounded the best for my music. One thing about him is that he sounds good if he's playing tunes with changes or playing something totally free. Whatever it is, he covers it." So does Paul Motian in this set in which the horns are really "speaking" horns, and everyone is searching, thrusting, and surprising themselves. And thereby you.
Nat Hentoff
c 1984 Soul Note Y 1984 Soul Note IREC Milano

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