Misterious Motian

Paul Motian's Misterioso

If you have a neck injury, and you like jazz, put on the brace and listen to Paul Motian's album Misterioso. The brace will come in handy when the second number opens up, and if you don't have a neck injury, you might get one.

Drummer Paul Motian (pronounced, if you didn't get it, like motion) has had a life. He won fame and (I hope) fortune with the Bill Evans Trio. It is no small thing to be part of the Evans Village Vanguard recordings. Since that time he has laid down the beat for a lot of modern jazz, across a wide range of jazz styles.

Misterioso is a fine example of his range and flexibility. Jim Pepper plays tenor and soprano sax. Joe Lovano is also on tenor, which whets my interest as I saw him play in Sioux Falls. Bill Frisell plays guitar, and there is a powerful fusion influence. But I run into a mystery here. iTunes lists Alex Lodico, trombone player, but he isn't on the Penguin guide notes about the album. Maybe someone out there can fill me in.

Anyway, the album begins with a pure bop working of Monk's 'Misterioso'. It's delicious. And the next song, 'Abicus', is altogether fusion in presentation. Hence the whiplass. The rest of the album is most fusionesque. Go to your local jazz store and ask for it. Tell 'em I sent you.

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Kenneth Blanchard