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#2118917 - 07/17/13 05:24 AM Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446


I know I briefly mentioned this solo before, but I figured I should make another thread about it. As far as I know, this solo is considered one of the great/important solos, something that is worth studying for jazz pianists. I admit that I don't "get it" completely, but I definitely appreciate some aspect of it, and I find the way Paul Bley goes in an out of the changes beautiful in it's own way. So for those people who understand and appreciate stuff like this, what do you guys see in it?

Here's what Aaron Parks have to say about this.

"The piano solo on this song was my first introduction to Paul Bley's music. When I heard it for the first time (7 years ago or so), it basically changed my life. Many people have spoken about the originality and historical importance of this solo, analyzing it in detail and discussing its far-reaching influence; instead of trying to do something like that, I'll just talk briefly about what it has meant to me personally and why I love it so much.

Like many young musicians today, I came up through the jazz education system. I was a diligent student, so I had learned a fair amount of music theory and had a pretty solid understanding of which notes were "correct" for me to play on one chord progression or another. The three choruses that Bley plays here (sandwiched between a more traditional yet beautifully lyrical solo by Coleman Hawkins and a perhaps slightly self-conscious solo by Sonny Rollins) showed the limitation of those theoretical conceptions, and represented a radically different approach to improvisation, one not about right or wrong. It was a paradigm-shifting moment for me, one which caused me to reevaluate my musical priorities.

In this solo, Bley's melodies roam freely in and out of the written changes, each line unfolding in its own curious way, pursuing its own muse. Yet he's not just playing "free"; even when he's not using the prescribed chord-scales, he always knows exactly where he is in the form of the song, and his ideas are incredibly coherent sometimes motivic, sometimes gestural, sometimes playful, always imaginative. I find this solo to be one of the most strangely beautiful moments in the history of recorded jazz, so I really don't want to spoil it by attempting to use any more words to describe what he's doing here. Just listen."

Reviewer: Aaron Parks
Rating 99/100

http://www.jazz.com/dozens/the-dozens-aaron-parks-selects-12-essential-paul-bley-tracks

BTW please don't make this into a "This solo is just crap/nonsense" kind of thread. I totally understand people not "getting it". Frankly I don't quite grasp it either.. but The importance of this solo is pretty well recognized(I think Mark Levine mentions it in his Jazz piano book). So if you don't like it, you have different taste than those who appreciate it, and let's leave it at that.


Edited by etcetra (07/17/13 11:09 AM)

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#2118937 - 07/17/13 07:21 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Hey etc
I just have to say that I'm grateful to printer1 for recommending I study this particular ATTYA solo at the end of last year.
It's taken me 6 months to incorporate Paul Bley's free spirit into my soloing.
Another Paul Bley solo which captures this same spirit is this one live in Newport the same year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FnVz4H_Kp0

I'm really pleased you are going to study Paul Bley. He's not easy, but does get "easier".

BTW would you remember what Mark Levine said about the solo ?

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#2118939 - 07/17/13 07:32 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
custard apple,

That's awesome that you studied the solo!! so how is like incorporating those idea into your own? Thanks for the link!!

I remember Mark Levine putting that sonny rollin's CD in the essential listening list at the end the "jazz book piano book", and talks about that solo in particular. I don't remember exactly what he said, but he felt that solo was worth noting..that's actually how I found out about it.


Edited by etcetra (07/17/13 07:39 AM)

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#2118953 - 07/17/13 08:03 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: etcetra
custard apple,

That's awesome that you studied the solo!! so how is like incorporating those idea into your own? Thanks for the link!!



You're welcome etc. That particular Newport concert is notoriously difficult to buy.

To tell you the truth, I spent so long on the solo (studio version you mentioned) that I only studied the 1st chorus.
To incorporate Paul's style into my soloing, printer1 also has got me studying
- Open to Love (this phenomenal album contains 7 captivating miniatures)
- About Time (you will find this 33.5 min solo on spotify. Here Paul incorporates ATTYA in the middle of his solo ! So he is playing free and at the same time "structured")

I've definitely found it liberating to play in the PB spirit, in the sense of:
(i) encouraging the use of the other side of my brain.
(ii) encouraging risk-taking. If you listen to his partner in crime, Sonny Rollins, all this risk-taking pays off in an enormous way.

I'm interested in your findings along your PB journey.

BTW I just looked up Mark Levine and he lists many other artists, so that's awesome that you picked PB.

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#2118973 - 07/17/13 09:01 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: custard apple]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1213
Loc: uk south
It was a groundbreaking solo I think. Pat Metheny is on record as saying it is one of his all time favourite solos.
As far as I understand it Paul Bley was heavily into the Lydian Chromatic concept of George Russell at this time and there are many examples of this kind of approach in that book - basically alternative ways of thinking about the progressions with substitute chords and harmonic overlays.
I couldn't really get on with the concept myself (not even sure I understand it) but it sounds very interesting when used like this, a whole new area of tonality opening up which you can easily hear all modern players using. It is interesting to hear how close early Jarrett sounds to this style, I think Bley was a really big influence on him.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#2119257 - 07/17/13 07:43 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Thanks for this interesting info beeboss, an accolade from the great improviser Pat Metheny himself.

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#2119258 - 07/17/13 07:43 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 751
I like PB but never listened to this take until now. My first impression is how different it starts sounding after repeated listening. You can definitely hear phrasing that people like Jarrett has since coped. I will spend some time trying to learn from this take - thanks to OP for posting.
_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2119599 - 07/18/13 12:00 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2995
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
This solo is just crap/nonsense.

Seriously, thanks for posting this. This is far out.
I wonder to what extent Sonny was paying attention, he seems to be caught off guard.

Last week, we asked Pat Harbison: "When you do this playing out thing, do you expect / want the piano player to follow you". And his answer was "I'd prefer he didn't".

What do you think about that?

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#2119618 - 07/18/13 12:33 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529

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#2119619 - 07/18/13 12:34 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
Must read:

An Uncut Blindfold Test With Paul Bley, Around 2002

http://tedpanken.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/an-uncut-blindfold-test-with-paul-bley-around-2002/

Note what he says about Jarrett and Mehldau... ouch.

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#2119622 - 07/18/13 12:40 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529

Trio version
TRANSCRIPTION
Paul Bley's solo on "All The Things You Are":
http://www.oocities.org/bourbonstreet/5580/PaulBleyAlltheThings.pdf

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#2213986 - 01/13/14 01:17 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
it's a logical solo, call and response, development of phrases, and the 8th note lines are very swinging - greasy. very nice.. Custard think you can dig up that alt take, seem to have been deleted, cheers

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#2214036 - 01/13/14 03:45 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
He's doing two things at once, keeping track of the form and playing outside the changes.

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#2214144 - 01/13/14 06:49 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: rintincop]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1213
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: rintincop
He's doing two things at once, keeping track of the form and playing outside the changes.


He is playing outside of the standard changes but doing it in quite a methodical way, even if this is quite hard to hear.
_________________________
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#2214587 - 01/14/14 01:21 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: beeboss]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: rintincop
He's doing two things at once, keeping track of the form and playing outside the changes.


He is playing outside of the standard changes but doing it in quite a methodical way, even if this is quite hard to hear.


Can you explain the systems he is employing in his "methodical way"?

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#2214596 - 01/14/14 01:41 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
BILL SMITH: In this period, youíre moving quite a way from bebop music and this microtonal music is making you investigate other concepts of piano. Or were you always developing into that? You play a much more open, spacy way, whereas bebop players have a tendency to accompany themselves. You donít do that, you have another way of playing.

PAUL BLEY: Yes, use of space is a separate discussion. In terms of what I personally thought was the way to play the piano. Leaving space out for the moment, Iíve always loved every period that Iíve played in. Iíve never been interested in one as opposed to another.

I anticipated all the changes in jazz because they were all problematical things, that I was dealing with myself. In New York in the late Ď50s there were a lot of experiments being made on how to avoid playing popular standards and how to get improvising out of those constricting formats. I participated on several of them, the albums with Don Ellis in the early Ď60s were part of that problem/ solution, some of Mingusí compositions, some of George Russellís compositions, these were things that were handled by composers and therein lay the problem. It was an improvising problem, over and above a composition problem. So a composer could write something that wasnít 32 bars. But as soon as he let someone take a solo on it, it would become metrical, an 8 bar system or what have you.

BILL SMITH: George Russell almost succeeded with that concept of improvisation.

PAUL BLEY: Almost, yes, absolutely. But donít forget Ornette took on rhythmically the loosening up of the dominance of the single meter beat so that youíd have multi-rhythms happening. Or something that wasnít even considered rhythm, just slower or faster than the beat. That type of rhythmic suppleness was unheard of prior to him. For me, it was a question of techniques. I could play on simple triads, I could play on complex chord changes. I could play modally, now ó could I play free? It was a question of stretching your consciousness, to allow yourself to be fearless in the fact that you could get back correctly.

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#2214787 - 01/14/14 07:49 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: rintincop]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
Originally Posted By: rintincop
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: rintincop
He's doing two things at once, keeping track of the form and playing outside the changes.


He is playing outside of the standard changes but doing it in quite a methodical way, even if this is quite hard to hear.


Can you explain the systems he is employing in his "methodical way"?


playing a half step away is my guess. anyone done their homework? would love to take a look

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#2214814 - 01/14/14 08:32 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: KlinkKlonk]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1213
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk


playing a half step away is my guess. anyone done their homework? would love to take a look


I think it is a fair bit more involved than that. I remember I did struggle through many of the musical examples in the Lydian chromatic concept which was insightful but ultimately I gave up on it, just too involved and confusing for me. Anyone brave enough to delve inside could probably do worse than trying this website, not for the faint-hearted though...
http://www.lydianchromaticconcept.com
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#2214825 - 01/14/14 08:46 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: beeboss]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
you lost me at page 2.. bley doesnt strike me as the theory guy, that excerpt from ted panken site was hilarious.

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#2214902 - 01/14/14 11:30 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: rintincop]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: rintincop
BILL SMITH: ó could I play free? It was a question of stretching your consciousness, to allow yourself to be fearless in the fact that you could get back correctly.[/b]


Thank you rintincop for this awesome quotation.
In the version etcetera posted, Paul plays "across the changes" yet knows exactly where he is in the form e.g. in A2 sec, m2 he plays inside F min 7; at the beginning of the bridge, he outlines G maj chord tones to leave the listener enough clues he is playing ATTYA.

Re space, my Paul Bley piano solo album arrived today. It's called Hands On, and his use of space is magical.

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#2215069 - 01/15/14 09:36 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: KlinkKlonk]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1368
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
playing a half step away is my guess. anyone done their homework? would love to take a look

Here's the solo transcribed (not by me): https://app.box.com/s/mevz5c2gghnpfqmfu7sn
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
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#2215255 - 01/15/14 02:54 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 690
Loc: Leicester, UK
Nice Chris!

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#2215311 - 01/15/14 05:11 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
playing a half step away is my guess. anyone done their homework? would love to take a look

Here's the solo transcribed (not by me): https://app.box.com/s/mevz5c2gghnpfqmfu7sn


Thanks Chris.
I had always wanted to know what was going on in the LH.

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#2215386 - 01/15/14 07:20 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
thanks chris, I see like one inside phrase, outrageous

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#2215767 - 01/16/14 03:26 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: rintincop]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
Originally Posted By: rintincop
He's doing two things at once, keeping track of the form and playing outside the changes.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#2215769 - 01/16/14 03:28 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: KlinkKlonk]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 365
Originally Posted By: KlinkKlonk
thanks chris, I see like one inside phrase, outrageous

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#2215787 - 01/16/14 04:11 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
When Bley plays outside he is probably focused on creating shapes...both melodic and physical... based on his intuition that evolved from his experiences as an improviser.

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#2215983 - 01/17/14 12:04 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Beautiful play of tension and release. He goes back often enough to the harmony for me to not get lost. I haven't heard this before but I actually hear what he's doing -- holding the approach note to the chord tone (but not going to the chord tone) -- Basically holding resolution.
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#2217098 - 01/19/14 12:18 PM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: jazzwee]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
I actually hear what he's doing -- holding the approach note to the chord tone (but not going to the chord tone) -- Basically holding resolution.



What do you mean? Can you site some examples by measure number in the transcription that Chris posted? Are you suggesting he is thinking music theory while he is playing free improvisation?

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#2219889 - 01/24/14 07:37 AM Re: Paul Bley's solo on all the things you are [Re: etcetra]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 690
Loc: Leicester, UK
I've just posted on my blog about "Playing Outside of Chord Changes."

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2014/01/jazz-piano-going-outside.html

The post has examples from and explanations of Charlie Parker, Paul Bley (from the ATTYA solo), Herbie Hancock, and John Coltrane. Another longer post about only the Paul Bley ATTYA solo is in the works.


Edited by Mark Polishook (01/24/14 07:40 AM)

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