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Blues for Red (Piano Solo)

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Album Review

More straight-ahead than many Paul Bley outings, the 14 solo piano vignettes comprising this set reflect the versatility of this wide-ranging performer. There is an emphasis on the blues, and the pianist proves himself a formidable champion of that genre. Fans of Bley's traditional aesthetic should also find something here to admire, as he covers a wide range of styles. While everything is well played, there is a sense of ordinariness on some of the tracks. Nonetheless, Bley is too good a performer not to throw some gems in the pack, and there are flashes of his patented use of space and an occasional energetic cluster. While this is not an album that would serve well as an introduction to this wonderful performer, it will prove particularly rewarding to those who are familiar with the pianist's work and wish to observe some different facets of his playing.


Born: 10 November 1932 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist Paul Bley, whose earliest recordings sound like Al Haig or Bud Powell, took the styles and techniques associated with Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans to new levels of creative experimentation, becoming an indispensable force in modern music by combining the best elements in bop and early modern jazz with extended free improvisation and procedural dynamics often found in 20th century chamber music. This approach places him in league with artists as diverse as Red Garland, Elmo...
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Blues for Red (Piano Solo), Paul Bley
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