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Paul Motian Dies at 80

Paul Motian, the revered drummer whose ethereal, selfless playing was one of the most singular and identifiable styles in all of jazz, died at 4:52 a.m. in New York City, as confirmed by a representative from ECM Records. He was 80. The cause of death was myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder, according to the New York Times.

Said saxophonist Joe Lovano, who worked often with Motian over the past three decades, “Paul was a strong, charismatic character, with a lot of energy and passion. He had a complete sphere of energy that you can hear in his playing, which could shift and change moods in a nanosecond. He was very serious and funny at the same time. He was a beautiful, creative soul, with so much love and passion.”

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