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Not Two Not One Import

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Audio CD, Import, October 19, 1999
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$16.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Not Zero: In Three PartsPaul Bley 9:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. EntelechyPaul Bley 2:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. NowPaul Bley 4:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Fig FootPaul Bley 5:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Vocal TrackedPaul Bley 5:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. IntentePaul Bley 5:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. NoospherePaul Bley 7:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Set Up SetPaul Bley 6:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Dialogue AmourPaul Bley 8:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Don't You KnowPaul Bley 6:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Not Zero: In One PartPaul Bley0:58$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Not Two Not One + Memoirs + Paul Bley Quartet
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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,991 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


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


Pianist Paul Bley begins by exploring the low, clunking end of his Bösendorfer, then plays a boogie riff, followed by a melancholy descending refrain and some jazz canons. When Paul Motian's drums enter, we marvel at the somewhat unreal multi-track recording rather than the playing, though his touch is as crisp as ever. Bassist Gary Peacock picks up on Bley's low-pitch intro, boiling some low-register funk. The improvisation on "Not Zero" resembles the bustle used to signify "busy downtown New York" in Broadway musicals. Did someone mention the word "jazz?" That's where all three players started. The ECM label claims the trio has developed a European slant, distinct from the "pure energy" of free jazz, emphasizing "subtlety, lyricism, and chamber-music sensibilities" (to quote from the press release). The abandonment of traditional rhythmic pulse is celebrated. However, unlike the music of Bailey, Oxley, or Brötzmann, this does not thrust the musicians forward into new realms, but strands them in impressionist stasis. As the disc proceeds, the languid pace and minor keys become utterly predictable, less like independent creativity than marketable clichés. After nearly an hour of this lackluster drifting, the sententiousness of Bley's meanderings starts to irritate ("Don't You Know"). This version of "free" is about sustaining a reverent atmosphere, not waking up to the sound of now. Any recourse to Improv proper would break the churchy spell. In the early '60s, the pianist Krzysztof Komeda combined the melancholy of Polish folk with out-bop to great effect. But this trio's free-improvised recasting of folk and jazz becomes soporific. Rather than turning improvisatory interplay into the main event, removing the bookending forms simply dissipates any energy. They sound like they could play this stuff in their sleep. "Not Two, Not One" has neither the variety nor density required for active listening, instead suggesting a species of highbrow mood music.

--- Ben Watson, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Dorward on May 30, 2001
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By p dizzle on May 5, 2000
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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl W. Nehring on July 5, 2009
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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