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Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $25 General Admission / $20 IHP Members + Seniors / $17.50 Students
Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 8:00pm

Paul Bley + Richard Poole

Paul Bley, piano
Richard Poole, drums

"In the final reckoning, the pianist Paul Bley's influence over the last 50 years of jazz - and it continues - will be enormous...Mr. Bley's music runs on a mixture of deep historical knowledge and its own inviolable principles." -Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

Paul Bley (born in Montreal 1932) is one of the most influential pianists in the entire history of jazz. While still in his twenties, he played with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Chet Baker, and many others. At 21, he made his first album as a leader for Charles Mingus's Debut label, with Mingus himself on bass and Art Blakey on drums. Briefly based in California in the late 1950s, his quintet of 1958 helped introduce the talents of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins to the jazz world. In the early 1960s, as a member of the Jimmy Giuffre Trio and in his own groups, Bley brought chamber music clarity into the new domain of free jazz.

Bley was a founding member of the Jazz Composers Guild, from which the Jazz Composers Orchestra would subsequently evolve.  Bley was amongst the first artists to appear on ECM, and through the 1970s devoted most of his energies to his own label, IAI, which released the first-ever recordings of Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius (as members of Paul's quartet). In the 1980s he returned to ECM and toured the world with a new quartet including Bill Frisell, John Surman and Paul Motian, and later recording with Evan Parker and Barre Phillips, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. In 2001, The National Library of Canada purchased Bley's vast archive of tapes and documents, and established the Paul Bley Fonds, an important historical resource for jazz scholars. For this very rare Philadelphia appearance, he is joined by Boston-based percussionist Richard Poole.  

Richard Poole last played with Paul Bley in Berlin in 1989 at the Berlin Museum of Fine Arts. Originally from Milo, Maine, he has performed primarily on the East Coast with musicians such as Filp Phillips, Jaco Pastorius, Lowell Davidson and Ira Sullivan. His most recent CD, Opposite Voltage features Jeff Palmer and George Garzone.

This concert has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, through the Philadelphia Music Project.