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Guy Berger

Paul Bley before 1970

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I was wondering whether anyone possesses, or has a reference to, a discography of Paul Bley's various recording dates prior to 1970. It seems like there is a ton of this stuff floating around (much out of print), and since everybody is suddenly on alert with the Paul Bley thread I suspect a lot of others might benefit.

In particular, does anyone have more information on the dates that ended up on the ECM release Paul Bley with Gary Peacock?

Answer to my own question: there is a 200 page discography that you can order from Cadence. Anybody with this book on hand able to answer my second question?

Guy

Edited by Guy

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"Paul Bley with Gary Peacock" (ECM) was recorded in two sessions. The first, recorded in NYC on April 13, 1963, yielded Blues, Getting Started, When Will the Blues Leave, Long Ago and Far Away, and Moor, with Peacock and Paul Motian. Gary, Bigfoot, and Albert's Love Theme were recorded in Seattle in May 1968, with Peacock and Billy Elgart. The rest of the Seattle session (Only Lovely, Kid Dynamite, Nothing Ever Was Anyway, El Cordobes, Ramblin', Touching, Blood, and Mr. Joy)was released as "Mr. Joy" on Limelight or Mercury, with the remaining tracks (Kid Dynamite-a different take?, and Mr. Joy) appearing on Turning Point (trio titles without John Gilmore), on IAI.

This info from Henk Kluck's discography "Bley Play", referred to in the above post. If you're a Bley completist, it's a big help.

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There's also a bio/disco by Norman Meehan. I believe it's published by Berkeley Hills.

Bertrand.

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I've been on a huge Bley kick lately, especially his 60s work, and I have also spent the last couple weeks getting headaches over the details of his discography from this time. There are so many overlapping issues, overlapping titles, various pressings, various release dates ... it's all almost impossible to wrap your mind around. Here's a quick little list I put together to help keep some of this organized. 

 

B2.gif

Edited by colinmce

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Good effort! I've similarly battled with all those sessions in the past. I have them all apart from Hi Hats, how are they? 

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Both very excellent. If you're a fan of this music I don't think you'd want to be without them. The retailer millionsofrecords.com has both for 5.99 and 4.99 respectively. 

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Thanks, will seek them out

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I have Floater Syndrome and Footloose and really like them.  How are those 2 on Fontana?

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more engaged in overtly "free jazz" (note the quotes) than the Savoy stuff. But at the end of the day, Bley was always Bley.

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21 minutes ago, JSngry said:

more engaged in overtly "free jazz" (note the quotes) than the Savoy stuff. But at the end of the day, Bley was always Bley.


 

hmm.  Okay, thx.  Might be time to check one out. 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

fwiw, if you want to roll this/thatat way with it, both were released on Arista Freedom on a 2-fer LP

cGVn.jpeg

https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/1134013776

You'll not get a cooler cover, imo.

aha though, a wrinkle! this is ‘Touching’ and the Polydor ‘Blood’, not the Fontana one. that is a much tougher nut to crack, availability-wise

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In addition to the 60's work being discussed here, I also really like his 50's work, all the way back to the debut on Debut, with Mingus and Blakey.  BTW, I have the Copenhagen and Haarlem 2LP set on my sale list if anyone is looking for it.

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46 minutes ago, colinmce said:

aha though, a wrinkle! this is ‘Touching’ and the Polydor ‘Blood’, not the Fontana one. that is a much tougher nut to crack, availability-wise

correct. Polydor Blood (Paul Bley in Haarlem) is a different beast. 

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Well crap. A needless gap identified. Several opportunities missed over they years, just by not paying close enough attention.

But thanks for calling it out and bringing it up. Going forth, eyes wide open.

No matter, Polydor Blood (Paul Bley in Haarlem) is a gorgeous record, like what Bill Evans maybe thought he was going to do but never did..

And as such, Felser's Arista/Freedom 2-fer would make a great addition to any vinyl library!

 

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I must admit when I became a jazz lover I had not heard his name yet. 
I first read an interview with him in the german book of interviews with jazz musicians (Jazz Podium by Gudrun Endress) and that interview was quite strange. While other name musicians like Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach, Elvin Jones were very articulate, Bley made some really strange and almost cynical statements like that acoustic jazz is dead (maybe it was at that time in the mid 70´s ......) and that none of the youngsters has the right to play acoustic just because it was there at some time, and that he was part of the developement of acoustic jazz and has the authority to say something like that. 
And when asked about his collaboration with Sam Rivers, and that Sam Rivers is really fast, Bley answered "yes, but not as fast as my synthisizer". 
Really strange. 

Then at my drummers place I saw an album "The Faboulous Paul Bley quintet" and on the cover photo was Don Cherry and this was the album with the original Ornette Coleman group with Paul Pley added on piano and billed as the leader of the session. Well, that album not recorded well at all, you barely can hear the piano, and the compositions with the exception of Parkers "Klactoveedstene" and Roy Eldrige´s "I remember Harlem" are Ornette Coleman compositions....

Much later I purchased Rollins meets Hawk and it has Paul Bley on piano. 

And 2 years ago my wife bought me for birthday a couple of CDs and one of it was "Jimmy Giuffree Trio live at Graz 1961". That´s the most Paul Bley I heard and this is really fine. My wife didn´t know anything about it, but saw the cover and that it´s "live" so she bought it. Maybe drumless trios are not my first choice of listening, but if I want to hear something more quiet, but neverless demanding, I spin it and enjoy it. It´s another brand of jazz, more a quiet form, but not like ECM, and yes......I can dig it on certain times....

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13 hours ago, colinmce said:

I've been on a huge Bley kick lately, especially his 60s work, and I have also spent the last couple weeks getting headaches over the details of his discography from this time. There are so many overlapping issues, overlapping titles, various pressings, various release dates ... it's all almost impossible to wrap your mind around. Here's a quick little list I put together to help keep some of this organized. 

 

B2.gif

Thank you for this.

One small note: five tracks from the 1962-64 Savoy sessions were first released on the "New Music: Second Wave" sampler (1979).

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17 hours ago, colinmce said:

I've been on a huge Bley kick lately, especially his 60s work, and I have also spent the last couple weeks getting headaches over the details of his discography from this time. There are so many overlapping issues, overlapping titles, various pressings, various release dates ... it's all almost impossible to wrap your mind around. Here's a quick little list I put together to help keep some of this organized. 

 

B2.gif

Always nice to be on a huge Bley kick.

Here is a PDF of Bley's '60s recordings from the wonderful Henk Kluck's detailed discography (from the PDF 2nd edition). Thought you would appreciate Henk's valuable work. BTW, the Lugano and Bremen concerts, which were not publicly released in 2007, were included in the Private Recordings section. 

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I also recently came across this recording from Newport 1965. You need a subscription to listen in full, but the clips are fantastic https://www.wolfgangs.com/music/paul-bley-trio/audio/20020001-50866.html?tid=4844095

3 hours ago, corto maltese said:

Thank you for this.

One small note: five tracks from the 1962-64 Savoy sessions were first released on the "New Music: Second Wave" sampler (1979).

That's a great comp. A cheap & friendly way to sample the extremely rare Marzette Watts & Cleve Pozar material too.

Music from Turning Point and Floater Syndrome were also released in part on the Savoy LPs Turns and Floater in the 80s. Turns includes an alternate take of "Ida Lupino" that is not available anywhere else. To that end, the Artista-Freedom 2xLP has an otherwise unreleased alternate take of "Closer", and there is furthermore a very rare Japanese CD called The Complete Footloose that includes alternate takes of "King Korn" and "Around Again"

 

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3 hours ago, colinmce said:

Turns includes an alternate take of "Ida Lupino" that is not available anywhere else.

I love that track, kind of wish I didn't know there was an alternate. Is it worth the purchase of a whole album I ask myself

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I think I've just fallen back into the black hole that is the Bley trio discography as I didn't know about the two Savoy LPs released in the 80s.

@colinmce, can you help me out as you've done all the hard work, what's the relationship between the Savoy 80s LPs 'Floater' and 'Syndrome' (or the CD Floater Syndrome which compiles them] with 'Footloose' from 1963?  Do the two 80s LPs cover all the 1963 issue plus some from the same session? If so, are the tracks that are extra to 'Footloose' available elsewhere before the 80s releases?

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1 hour ago, mjazzg said:

I think I've just fallen back into the black hole that is the Bley trio discography as I didn't know about the two Savoy LPs released in the 80s.

@colinmce, can you help me out as you've done all the hard work, what's the relationship between the Savoy 80s LPs 'Floater' and 'Syndrome' (or the CD Floater Syndrome which compiles them] with 'Footloose' from 1963?  Do the two 80s LPs cover all the 1963 issue plus some from the same session? If so, are the tracks that are extra to 'Footloose' available elsewhere before the 80s releases?

There were two sessions recorded for Footloose, 15 tunes were recorded in all. Floater is mostly tracks from Footloose with a few of the unreleased ones in the mix. Syndrome is the rest of Footloose and the rest of the recorded tunes. Floater Syndrome compiles all of Footloose plus 7 of the unreleased tunes, minus two alternates. The Japanese Complete Footloose CD, as well as a Gambit disc called Complete Savoy Sessions 1962-63, has all 15 songs. 

Phew! Since Floater Syndrome is by far easier to come by than the official JP disc or the OOP Gambit CD, I would say this is definitely your best bet to have nearly all of this material.

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30 minutes ago, colinmce said:

There were two sessions recorded for Footloose, 15 tunes were recorded in all. Floater is mostly tracks from Footloose with a few of the unreleased ones in the mix. Syndrome is the rest of Footloose and the rest of the recorded tunes. Floater Syndrome compiles all of Footloose plus 7 of the unreleased tunes, minus two alternates. The Japanese Complete Footloose CD, as well as a Gambit disc called Complete Savoy Sessions 1962-63, has all 15 songs. 

Phew! Since Floater Syndrome is by far easier to come by than the official JP disc or the OOP Gambit CD, I would say this is definitely your best bet to have nearly all of this material.

Fabulous, thank you very much

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1 minute ago, Daniel A said:

This thread also got me interested in seeking out more 60s Paul Bley! 

It seems as if there were actually two different versions of "The Floater Syndrome", and this one has all 15 tracks:

https://www.discogs.com/release/2985218-Paul-Bley-With-Steve-Swallow-Pete-LaRoca-The-Floater-Syndrome

Nice catch! What the hell was going on over at Savoy in the 80s?

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