Paul Bley

Paul Bley, CM (born November 10, 1932) is a pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing. Paul Bley was born in Montreal, Canada, his parents were Betty Marcovitch, an immigrant from Romania, and Joe Bley, owner of an embroidery factory. Bley has been a long-time resident of the United States. His music characteristically features strong senses both of melodic voicing and space. In the 1950s he founded the Jazz Workshop in Montreal, performing and recording there with Charlie Parker. He also performed with Lester Young and Ben Webster at that time. In 1953 he conducted for Charles Mingus on the Charles Mingus and his Orchestra album and the same year Mingus produced the Introducing Paul Bley album with Mingus and Art Blakey. In 1960 Bley recorded on piano with the Charles Mingus Group. In 1958, he hired Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins to play at the Hillcrest Club in California. In the early 1960s he was part of the Jimmy Giuffre 3, a clarinet, piano and bass trio with bassist Steve Swallow.

Music

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