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Turning Point

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Album Review

When this album was released in 1975 by Paul Bley's Improvising Artists label, the seven selections had been previously unheard. The five pieces from Mar. 9, 1964 (which feature pianist Bley, tenor-saxophonist John Gilmore, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian) were later released in a more complete form on the Savoy LP Turns. This was a unique onetime encounter between the innovative Bley (whose lyrical approach to free form improvising was quite different than that used by the high-energy players of the time) and Sun Ra's longtime tenor John Gilmore; "Ida Lupino" is the most memorable of these tracks. In addition there are a couple of trio performances ("Mr. Joy" and "Kid Dynamite") from a May 10, 1964 concert with bassist Peacock and drummer Billy Elgart that have not been released elsewhere. Very interesting if not quite essential music.

Customer Reviews

Good stuff

I got this album because I am a big fan of John Gilmore's and since it is rare to hear him outside of Sun Ra's group, I try to get everything I can find that showcases his playing with a combo. This was my first time hearing Paul Bley and I think it's really fantastic stuff. It was a good introduction to his music for me and I expect it would be just as pleasant for anyone else looking to see what Paul Bley is about. The music is really free but nothing like the high intensity, in your face wailing like late Coltrane or Albert Ayler. The music remains very chilled out. I've enjoyed this album a lot.

Yes, essential...

...if only to hear the origin of the Keith Jarrrett American quartet sound, as Fred Hamilton pointed out.

Biography

Born: November 10, 1932 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Jazz

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

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...
Full Bio
Turning Point, Paul Bley
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