Paul Motian

Motian in Tokyo

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Drummer Paul Motian led an intriguing trio throughout the 1980s that celebrated its tenth anniversary with this release. The group (which also included guitarist Bill Frisell and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano) was potentially sparse, but Frisell's wide range of effects and sounds generally kept the absence of a keyboard and a bass from being too noticeable. This live performance has nine Motian originals of varying length and the Ornette Coleman/Pat Metheny piece "Kathelin Gray." The music is reminiscent of both Coleman and Keith Jarrett in spots, and is often floating and wandering, generally staying quite coherent, with some fiery moments. But overall, this interesting but not essential set does not live up to its great potential.

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