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Comment: Disc is in pristine condition, not a scratch. Artwork is also excellent. Jewel case shows minor surface wear. Looks just as pictured. With printed outer carboard sleeve. From private collection. Ships first class with tracking.
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Not Two Not One Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 19, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A reunion of one of the most creative groups in jazz (although Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian have played together in diverse pairings over the decades, this is the 1st time they've recorded as a trio in 35 years!). The music is powerful, hypnotic and timeless. Highlights include Bley's depth-sounding explorations at the bottom end of the Bosendorfer piano, a reworking of Fig Foot from the trio's '60's repertoire and a stunning Peacock solo on "Entelechy."

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In the early '60s, pianist Paul Bley's trios did much to expand the role of bass and drums, developing a conversational intimacy at the intersection of bop, modal, and free jazz. One of the best of those groups consisted of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian (Bill Evans's rhythm section in the same period), but their only recording as a trio was part of Paul Bley with Gary Peacock from 1963. While the two have worked extensively with Bley in different settings through the years, this 1998 meeting was the first time they had recorded as a trio in 35 years. They touch on the previous session with Bley's "Fig Foot," a taut rethinking of the blues, but this is much more than a reunion. Each of these musicians is a virtuoso of space and the telling gesture, an inspired inventor possessed of an edgy creativity and willing to lead this sometimes pensive, sometimes rapturous music into new directions. Along with the sheer sonic beauty, there's probing, too, as in the alternately tense and playful, overlapping dialogue of "Set Up Set." Bley's gift for spontaneous melody is frequently apparent, while Peacock's unaccompanied "Entelechy" highlights an expressive depth of which few bassists are capable. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ecm Import
  • ASIN: B000023XP1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,256 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Paul Bley's music continues to pour forth--he's a rival to Anthony Braxton & Steve Lacy in the sheer fecundity of his imagination & size of his recorded oeuvre. But if you want to catch him at his best, grab this 1999 disc with Gary Peacock & Paul Motian. It's a surprisingly punchy disc: this is certainly one of Paul Motian's best & most forceful performances from the 1990s, & when the trio is working at full steam, as on "Fig Foot", it's awesome. ("Fig Foot"? Don't ask me what it means. I first spotted the phrase in the nonsensical liner notes to Bley's classic 1962 disc _Footloose!_ Worth comparing this version of the tune with earlier renditions--I'm particularly partial to the more relaxed version on John Surman's _Adventure Playground_, which also features Bley & Peacock.) -- Throughout, Bley's characteristic pensiveness gives way to abstractly funky excursions, sharply etched chords or contrapuntal clouds of notes; he also gets a lot of mileage out of the extra low notes on the Bosendorfer he's working on. Peacock is magnificent throughout, especially on the solo piece "Entelechy". The disc ends beautifully with "Don't You Know", which I suspect is one of Bley's encrypted standards--a themeless variant of "Goodbye", a tune he'd memorably performed on the 2nd album by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio back in 1961. Then there's a minute-long revisiting of the opening "Not Zero" as a coda.
Gorgeous stuff. A small pity that ECM packaged it in their usual dour fashion--drab monochrome image of some highrises & a cloudy sky on the cover, & inside the usual cheerless black & white session photographs. Such images belie the real heat & robustness of the music. This disc is a modern classic.
One last word: ignore the JAZZIZ review--Ben Watson should stick to Frank Zappa. When he writes poetry he uses the pseudonym "Out to Lunch", fittingly enough.
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Format: Audio CD
mr. bley has been recording jazz for nearly 50 years and he just seems to be getting better and better. his style has changed and evolved over the decades, moving from cool bop (check out "introducing paul bley") to forays into free and now with introspective searching. from the first notes of "not zero-in three parts" thrummed out on the lowest keys of the piano, mr. bley draws you in deeply. you have to listen to each track, allow it to unfold, find where his poet's ear is going to take you, and enjoy the ride. highlights along the way are "fig foot" with its irresistable swing, the irony of the completely instrumental "vocal tracked" and the reprise (sort of) "zero in one part." mr. bley is more than ably assisted by two great sidemen. gary peacock is his usual strong support on bass, and paul motian continues to grab attention from the drum kit, but each allows mr. bley ample room to unfold his mesmerizing ideas. practice really does make perfect.
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By A Customer on November 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is a great artistic recording from three underappreciated musicians. Bley, Peacock, and Motian co-improvise in a challenging yet very listenable way, focusing heavily on the darker tones of their instruments. They are sensitive, mature musicians who really know how to play off of each other, and they manage to push the envelope of acoustic jazz without alienating the listener. I especially reccomend tracks 1 and 4.
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Format: Audio CD
Pianist Bley, bassist Peacock, and drummer Motian enjoy exploring the sounds of their respective instruments. The opening minutes of this CD, from a cut titled "Not Zero: In Three Parts," demonstrate this quite dramatically, as Bley explores some of the lowest notes on the piano, Motian enters with a bang, and Peacock does some plucking on the lowest notes on his bass. Keith Jarrett fans probably recall that Motian and Peacock played in a trio with Jarrett on the ECM CD, "Live at the Deer's Head Inn." Bley is a much different kind of pianist, and this trio sounds quite different from Jarrett's. The music on Not Two, Not One is more exploratory, less lyrical. However, the music here is always musical. These musicians may explore their instruments, but they do not exploit or abuse them. They coax music out of them, sometimes forcefully, sometimes hesitantly, but always convincingly. This is a recording that takes a few hearings to get into, but if you make the effort, you will be rewarded. The recording quality is excellent--clean and full and clear.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The last Penguin Guide to Recorded Jazz gave this album a good star rating (3 out of 4) but lukewarm praise in the summary: exceptional musicians but the album a bit cold for the reviewer’s taste. I understand why the reviewer wrote that but I (respectfully) disagree. This is a first-rate album, and not just because Bley, Peacock and Motian are such fine artists. It is also (1) an exceptionally well-balanced (crafted) album, with eleven compositions (really ten, with a 58 second coda at the end) that balance the contributions of the artists and the tunes included; (2) the music played, though not exceptionally emotive, is, without exception, musically interesting –no, exciting! The album starts with “Not Zero,” a trio effort. Bley begins it with an exploration of his instrument’s resources more than melody and part way through, a passage that in its use of the lower notes on the left hand of the keyboard and its brooding, intellectual quality reminds me of Tristano’s playing on his famous “Turkish Mambo” (minus, of course, the overdubbing). Motian enters, one of his brilliant non-rhythmic, wandering drum solos, and then Peacock, who on this tune takes the back seat. The next cut is all Peacock though: a two-plus minute bass solo that evokes mood and stimulates the imagination. Cut three, “Now,” is more of Bley in Tristano-esque garb. “Fig Foot” is an attractive, mid-tempo post-bop romp for all three musicians. And so on throughout the album. The album concludes with a very brief coda, “Not Zero” revisited, basically just statement of theme. All three musicians are in top form and they play together wonderfully, true listeners to what the others play. I can’t say enough good about all three of them but I have to admit Peacock blew my mind away on this album.Read more ›
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