Circles

COMPOSERS: Paul Bley
LABELS: Milestone
PERFORMER: Paul Bley
CATALOGUE NO: MCD 47102-2

Advertisement

A pair of albums from the early Seventies (reissued on one CD) documents Paul Bley’s pioneering work with multi-keyboard performance in real time. Granted, the ARP Synthesizer and RMI electric piano sonorities may sound dated to contemporary ears, but one must credit Bley for avoiding any hint of effects for effects’ sake.

Advertisement

I still think that the acoustic piano resonance and overtones best serve Bley’s sparse and thorny style. And while the freewheeling rhythm team of bassist Dave Holland and percussionist Barry Altschul meshed hand in glove with other artists (Chick Corea especially), their overly busy support sometimes clutters the listening spaces Bley provides.