PAUL BLEY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - COR­MAC LARKIN

Play Blue ECM

Cana­dian pi­anist Paul Bley has searched for new sounds since the 1950s. Along the way he has worked with pi­o­neers such as Or­nette Cole­man and Charles Min­gus, cham­pi­oned new in­stru­ments and new ap­proaches, and gen­er­ally never re­mained sat­is­fied with the sta­tus quo. Bley has made a par­tic­u­larly distin­guished con­tri­bu­tion to the lan­guage of the trio, set­ting new stan­dards of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween mu­si­cians, but only rarely has he put his solo per­for­mances on record. Play Blue was recorded six years ago in the pris­tine but at­mo­spheric Kul­turkirken Jakob in Oslo by the poet-en­gi­neer of the piano, Jan Erik Kon­shaugh. Here is one of the great pi­anists of the mod­ern era think­ing aloud, let­ting his thoughts spill out onto the key­board with a clar­ity that is trans­fix­ing in its lyri­cal em­brace. im­provart.com

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