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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Guitars at last!", February 21, 2003
By 
The Mascara Snake (Deepintheheartof Appalachia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tribute (Audio CD)
Let me start by saying this is a very unique sounding album. The lineup is very cool. Mr. Motian made his name playing with pianists like Bill Evans, Paul Bley, and Keith Jarret. And by this point, after practially writing the book on modern piano trio drumming, he was very hungry for something besides just a piano (I have read him saying at this point something to the extent of wanting guitars, guitars, and more guitars). So this album is basically drums,bass, and two guitars supplemented by the panamanian alto sax player Carlos Ward (not a bad addition, but in my opinon the music would not have suffered without his prescence). If you aren't familliar with the names, on paper it looks like this could be a rock band, but these men take this lineup and do things that probbably at that time had never been done. Mr. Motian plays the most stretching, elastic, breathing drumming I have ever heard in my life ("Tuesday Ends Saturday" is absoulutley unbelieveable from a drummers' perspective) and I have yet to hear the interaction between him and Charlie Haden on this date be matched in all the years and recorings they have been playing together (although Keith Jarret's "The Mourning of a Star" album is really good too). It seems as if the guitar playing of Paul Metzke and Sam Brown allows Motian and Haden to really step out in the forefront and go at it head to head, all the while providing sweet, colorful, chorused-out electric guitar tones that provide so much texture (and at the appropriate times, fire-stoking) coupled with delicate, nylon string arpeggioes that set an exotic and beautiful mood.
It is also very cool that this drummer led recording, contains not one drum solo. Very indicative of a very mature musician who's personality on his instrument is so unmistakeable that he dosen't have to wave his chops in your face, it comes right through with the rest of the music. And although he is not dominating, it is obvious that he is definitley the one calling the shots on this session. He is the one that decides whether it's gonna be a serene tone poem, a rumbling free-jazz piece, or whatever he wants to do. So for drummers, or anyone who is a big fan of good bass/drum interaction with a lot of tasteful guitar interaction/textures, this is a great album by an often underrated living master of his art!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dark, moody and mind-altering, May 30, 2005
This review is from: Tribute (Audio CD)
"Tribute" is dark, moody and mind-altering. I have found ECM's discs from the 1970's to be either hit or miss, and I am happy to write that this 1974 album is definitely a hit. As if conjuring dark forces, the intense and shadowy 'Victoria' smolders with Carlos Ward's sax. The upbeat 'Tuesday Ends Saturday' features smokin' electric guitar playing and Paul Motian's best work on the traps. Perhaps the strongest track, it foreshadows Motain's future relationship with Bill Frisell. A mellow vibe permeates the remainder of the album as the last three songs are played in a slow tempo. It is on these songs that Charlie Haden steps out on bass. While 'War Orphans' and 'Sod House' are both laid-back and dreamy, 'War Orpans' suggests nostalgia and sentimentalism. The Charlie Haden composition 'Song for Che' simply features double bass, acoustic guitar and atmospheric percussion. Overall, Paul Metzke and Sam Brown make worthy contributions on electric and acoustic guitars. "Tribute" is a minor keyed journey through a fusion experience best suited for those special moments around one o'clock in the morning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album of all time, February 5, 2010
By 
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This review is from: Tribute (Audio CD)
Lofty statement? Maybe. But the music on this album is truly unique. I found this album looking for "noir jazz", which doesn't seem to officially exist, and the first track fit the bill perfectly. I have yet to find a similar sounding composition... it is beautiful, a smoldering and dark vignette with unbelievably heartfelt playing by all involved. The second, "Tuesday Ends Saturday", is also noir in its mood but fast-paced (almost an oxymoron?)... all of Motian's compositions on this album have this sensibility -- "Tribute" is the soundtrack for a non-existent film noir.

As a guitarist, I've always had difficulty appreciating instruments like drums and bass simply because I didn't know what was involved in playing them competently... this album changed that. Motian's drumming and Haden's bass playing are incredible. Sam Brown and Paul Metze on acoustic and electric guitars, respectively, are a huge part of the proceedings... and Carlos Ward's sax, well, "Victoria" and "Sod House" wouldn't be the same without it. To the reviewer who said that the music "would not have suffered without his presence"... what?!

What I find incredibly disappointing is that this is the only album of its kind in Motian's oeuvre. Or, actually, the only album of its kind PERIOD. This is original, introspective jazz at its finest. It's a bit expensive on Amazon as of this writing (and back-ordered, I believe), but a downloadable version is available from Amazon MP3 for less than $5. It is a steal at that price... or at any price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Motian's early albums, February 16, 2014
By 
G B (Connecticut) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tribute (Audio CD)
Tribute is probably the best of Motian's six early albums on ECM (all of which are now available in a box set). While Tribute doesn't repeat the wild eclecticism and shifting personnel of Conception Vessel, it also manages to avoid some of the scattershot, out-of-focus nature of the prior album. (I think these two albums parallel Tony Williams's first two albums as a leader, Life Time and Spring on Blue Note.)

The core of Tribute is a trio: Motian, bassist Charlie Haden, and guitarist Sam Brown (who also played together under Haden's name, and with Keith Jarrett). On a few of the tracks, the group also includes alto saxophonist Carlos Ward and a 2nd guitarist (Paul Metzke). I really like Ward's intense contributions - on the enigmatic ballad "Victoria", and on "Sod House". But in the end, it's guitars, guitars, guitars - they dominate the texture on every tune, including the incredible version of Ornette Coleman's "War Orphans".

Highly recommended!
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Tribute
Tribute by Paul Motian (Audio CD - 1999)
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