Paul Bley: Line Down


Line Down


Paul Bley (piano)


Fragments (ECM 1320/829280)

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Paul Bley (piano), John Surman (reeds), Bill Frisell (guitar), Paul Motian (drums).

Recorded: Oslo, January 1986


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

An intensely dramatic piece from the quartet of Paul Bley, John Surman, Bill Frisell, and Paul Motian. The individual solos here are of great, of course, but what really has me in awe is the unbelievably synergistic group dynamic. Listen to the comping by Bley and Frisell during Surman's solos, as well as to the way that Motian's drumming propels and connects everything. There are also a number of times when no one person is soloing, and everyone is working together collectively to build tension instead. The ending is especially haunting; I get chills every single time I hear it.

Reviewer: Aaron Parks

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