Influential U.S. jazz player Motian dies

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:34 EDT
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Drummer Paul Motian on his drums before his death. Image via AFP.
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The influential US jazz drummer and composer, Paul Motian, died Tuesday at the age of 80 in New York, a close friend said.

“Paul did pass away early this morning,” Carole d’Inverno, a painter, told AFP. Jazz producer Hans Wendl said Motian had died from complications from Myelodisplastic Syndrome, a bone disorder.

In the latter half of his career Motian became a band leader, playing with saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist Bill Frisell and pianistMasabumi Kikuchi among others, and he also worked as a composer.

However as far back as the 1950s Motian began to shine in the influential core of the jazz world, according to The New York Times, both a member of Bill Evans’ trio and later in the 1970s with Keith Jarrett’s American quartet.

“Paul Motian was my hearbeat,” Wendl quoted bassist and Motian playing partner Charlie Haden as saying on hearing of his friend’s death.

Lovano described Motian as “one of most influential mystical and magical musicians of all time.”

“Paul was a hard swinging free jazz drummer with an uncanny sense of time, phrasing and form beyond description,” Lovano said in a statement. “Playing and knowing Paul over the last 30 years under his leadership in multiple Quartets, Quintets and in Trio with Bill Frisell since 1984 has been the foundation of my development as a leader and composer.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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