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Paul Motian Trio 2000 + Two: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. II

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Just because no one is playing the tempo doesn’t mean it’s not there. Paul Motian probably didn’t establish this rule, but he certainly lives it, and more than any other drummer in jazz he has indoctrinated us against expecting that the man behind the kit should be the one who assumes that responsibility. In other words, the tempo, the rhythm, the time signature-it belongs to all of us and none of us. If you, the saxophonist, and you, the pianist, are going to improvise, then I, the drummer, am too. Not only that, but that’s pretty much all I’m going to do.

This philosophy seems to be the guiding force in Motian’s music, especially as it applies to his Trio 2000 + Two, which features tenor saxophonist Chris Potter and bassist Larry Grenadier plus alto saxophonist Greg Osby, violist Mat Maneri, and pianist Masabumi Kikuchi. (Isn’t that six people? Never mind.) Motian did a three-night stand with this band at the Village Vanguard in December 2006, and he must have liked what he heard, because here comes the second volume of music from it.

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