Paul Bley was 21 years old when he recorded his first album in 1953. With Art Blakey on drums and Charles Mingus on bass (it was originally released on his Debut Records label), this finds Bley still working within the framework of bebop. This CD reissue adds four extra tracks and the alternate take it includes of Bley's own "Opus 1" is fascinating for what it reveals. In his soloing--different on each of the two takes--he can be heard using forceful but brief melodic fragments with little harmonic embellishment. He's continued to explore those possibilities on through the decades. However, it is remarkable to notice here, at the beginning of the young pianist's career, to hear Bley stepping out of the confines of the genre and to witness the development of his distinctive individual voice.
Paul Bley (piano); Charles Mingus (bass); Art Blakey (drums) track listing:
1. Opus One 2. (Teapot) Walkin' 3. Like Someone in Love 4. Spontaneous Combustion 5. Split Kick 6. I Can't Get Started 7. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 8. Opus One [Alternate Take] 9. Theme 10. This Time the Dream's on Me 11. Zootcase
The attitude of the gallant Six Hundred which so aroused Lord Tennyson's admiration arose from the fact that the least disposition to ask the reason why was discouraged by tricing the would-be inquirer to the triangle and flogging him into insensibility.
Advance to Barbarism
(Mitre Press, 1968).
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