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Bill Frisell Remembers Paul Motian

The legendary drummer passed away last Nov. 22

Producer Orrin Keepnews, Scott LaFaro, Bill Evans and Paul Motian (from left) make jazz history at the Village Vanguard in 1961

Editor’s note: Starting today we will be publishing a series of daily tributes to 15 important jazz artists who passed away during the past 12 months. Each was written by an artist who was in some way touched by the late great. First up is guitarist Bill Frisell’s farewell to Paul Motian, one of jazz’s most significant drummers.

In the spring of 1968, I went to my first jazz concert in Denver, which was Charles Lloyd’s band, and Paul was playing drums. I don’t even know if I knew who Charlie Parker was at that point. So it was at the very beginning, and the first drummer I heard was Paul.

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