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Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz by Paul Bley and David Lee

Paul Bley began on violin at the age of five, took up the piano at eight and gained his junior diploma at McGill conservatory at eleven. From 1950-2 he studied composition and conducting at the Juillard school in New York. Established musicians quickly recognized Bleys extraordinary musical gifts and by 1952 he had recorded an album with the great bass player Oscar Pettiford-though it was not released at that time.

At twenty Bley played with Charlie Parker and was also leading his own trio in New York. Charlie championed him and got him his first released album in 1953. Thus introducing Paul Bley with an impressive trio debut with Mingus and Art Blakely as his rhythm section. In the later 1950's he was associated with the burgeoning and avant-garde movement playing with Mingus Ornette Coleman Don Cheery Jimmy Giuffre Don Ellis Sonny Rollins and Gary Peacock.

In January 1960 Bley and Bill Evans were the featured soloists and duetist with the fifteen-piece orchestra which recorded George Russell's massive composition "Jazz in the Space Age" with Steve Swallow. The following year with his own trio which included Steve Swallow and Pete LaRoca Footloose.

He toured Japan with Sonny Rollins in 1963 and to Europe with his own quintet in 1965 the aim of which was to further the jazz avant-garde movement. And was a founding member of the Jazz Composers Guild.

In the 1970's he gave performances and made recordings as an electronic keyboard player sometimes in collaboration with his second wife the singer and electronic keyboard player Annette Peacock; later he abandoned electric instruments and performed and recorded as an unaccompanied soloist and as a leader into the 1980's.

Paul Bley's new novel Stopping Time is innovative exuberant and gives you a perception of jazz in it's existence and how it found both popular appeal and intellectual appreciation for it's emotional intensity and musical sophistication.

Stopping Time is exquisitely illustrated giving a vivid compliment to the text. Bley's memoirs are well written and equipped with an index as well as a bibliography.

Paul Bley continues to maintain a hectic pace of touring around the world and recording albums. Bley's playing is notable for it's strong linearity unpredictable pulse and subtle harmonic progressions.'Paul Bley began on violin at the age of five, took up the piano at eight and gained his junior diploma at McGill conservatory at eleven. From 1950-2 he studied composition and conducting at the Juillard school in New York. Established musicians quickly recognized Bleys extraordinary musical gifts and by 1952 he had recorded an album with the great bass player Oscar Pettiford-though it was not released at that time.'

Additional Info

  • Book Title: Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz
  • Author: Paul Bley and David Lee
  • Publisher: Vehicule Press
  • Year Published: 1999
  • Book Type:: Autobiography
  • ISBN: 1550651110
  • Rating: Five Stars
  • Number of Pages: 160
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