bassist * composer * improviser

Matt Pavolka

#28 Paul Bley

A number of years ago (at least ten, maybe more like fifteen) the great Argentine pianist Ernesto Jodos, who was staying with my wife and me in New York at the time, went to Birdland to see Paul Bley.  I believe the band was Paul's trio with Paul Motian and Gary Peacock.  I don't recall that I was able to attend that night but I did see that group on other occasions and there were always at least moments of incredible beauty and power that only they could attain.  Truly one of the great piano trios in music.  Anyway, after the show Ernesto approached Bley (a not un-intimidating man) to ask him about taking a lesson.  Paul was very friendly.  He gave him a card and explained that he would be in New York for a while and that he should give him a call.  My friend put the card in his wallet and headed back to Brooklyn, excited at the prospect of studying with one of his idols.

Upon arriving back at our place he got out Bley's card to show to me.  it was a corporate-looking business card with flourescent trees embossed on a white background.  The text printed on it was:  "Paul Bley, Innovative Travel Concepts".  That was all, nothing else.  No phone number, nothing.



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