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Paul Bley (November 10, 1932 - January 3, 2016)

5 January 2016 8:56 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

The death of the visionary pianist/ improviser Paul Bley leaves a big hole in the jazz universe. Bley, a fearless improviser with grace, bite, humor, and knowledge, will be remembered for the ability to empty his self of all preconceptions and impediments before sitting down at the instrument, and for the ability to take his own specific approach and language and to morph it into something that works with whatever the environment and/or musicians that are in the ambient -- and for the ability to sit at any piano [and they all have different personalities] and except for being extremely stylized, he could pull out the personality of that particular piano while still sounding like himself.

Paul, though studied, was completely naturalistic and organic in his musical conception. He had a mindset that was always in the moment, and if so-called history ever came through in his playing, it was more a function of the »

- Matthew Shipp

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