Paul Motian

Genres: Jazz Soundtracks

Biography

Stephen Paul Motian, 25 March 1931, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Motian played guitar in Providence in his teens, then served a term in the US army. On his discharge in 1954 he went to New York to study music at the Manhattan School. By 1956 he was playing drums for George Wallington and Russell Jacquet. Between 1956 and 1958 he worked with Tony Scott, with whom he met the pianist Bill Evans. His work in the Evans trio (1959-64) has since achieved legendary status for its delicacy and balance. Motian also played with Oscar Pettiford, Zoot Sims and Lennie Tristano in the late 50s. In the mid-60s he worked with singers Mose Allison and Arlo Guthrie and was part of the Paul Bley trio in 1964. Motian had met Ornette Coleman’s bass player Charlie Haden in 1959 and had a chance to work with him in Keith Jarrett’s band with Dewey Redman (1967-76); he also joined Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra for its debut recording in 1969 and toured with the...

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