Paul Bley: The Archangel


The Archangel


Paul Bley (ARP synthesizer, RMI electric piano)


The Paul Bley Synthesizer Show (Milestone MSP9033)

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Paul Bley (ARP synthesizer, RMI electric piano),

Erhard Youngstein (bass); Steve Haas (drums)


Composed by Annette Peacock


Recorded: New York, December 9, 1970


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Until recently, I hadn't been aware that Bley was one of the pioneers of the electronic synthesizer. Here's one of the recordings from the time when he was first exploring these other sounds. It's interesting to hear his musical choices when he is freed from the relatively quick decay of the piano, and suddenly has the ability to be lyrical in entirely new ways. Late in the track, he seems to metaphorically reference the title of the song (composed by the unique and uncategorizable Annette Peacock) by sending his synthesizer soaring into the uppermost frequencies, almost beyond the range of human hearing. I'm also a sucker for the tangible physicality of that old analog synth sound. Mmm...

Reviewer: Aaron Parks

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