Paul Bley

Time Will Tell

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This CD contains a series of mostly thoughtful free improvisations featuring three of the giants of the idiom: pianist Paul Bley, Evan Parker (doubling on tenor and soprano) and bassist Barre Phillips. Surprisingly enough, Bley and Parker had never played together before (although Phillips had performed often with both musicians), but they communicate very well including on the lengthy "Poetic Justice," their initial meeting. Nothing was preplanned for the set, and in general, it is very much a Paul Bley session. The emphasis is on free ballads and mood pieces with Parker sounding somewhat restrained. He actually cuts loose much more on his two duets with Phillips than he does on the trios. Although the results overall are not classic, the music never fails to hold on to one's interest as the three musicians continually think and evolve together.

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