Paul Motian (March 25, 1931 – November 22, 2011) was an American jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer. Motian played an important role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties. He first came to prominence in the late 1950s in the piano trio of Bill Evans, and later was a regular in pianist Keith Jarrett’s band for about a decade (1967–1976).
Motian began his career as a bandleader in the early 1970s. His groups included two trios first with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, then Trio 2000 with Larry Grenadier and Chris Potter. Both trios recorded with other musicians added. Paul Motian’s two trios have released twenty recordings, some in an expanded version with one or two additional musicians:
1. It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago is an album is the first album to feature the Lovano/Frisell trio following three albums where they formed the basis of a quintet: Jack of Clubs (1985), The Story of Maryam (1983), and Psalm (1981).
2. Misterioso (1987), trio expanded with Ed Schuller, bass, and Jim Pepper, tenor sax.
3. One Time Out (1987), the Lovano/Frisell trio.
4. Monk in Motian (1988), the Lovano/Frisell trio; Geri Allen and Dewey Redman make guest appearances.
5. On Broadway Volume 1 (1989), performances of Broadway show tunes by Motian with the Lovano/Frisell trio.
6. On Broadway Volume 2 (1989), added Charlie Haden.
7. Bill Evans (1990), features nine compositions by Motian’s former employer Bill Evans performed by the Lovano/Frisell trio plus Marc Johnson on bass.
8. Motian in Tokyo (1992) is a live album by the Lovano/Frisell trio.
9. On Broadway Volume 3 (1993) is the third album of Broadway show tunes by the Lovano/Frisell trio expanded to a quintet with Charlie Haden and Lee Konitz.
10. Trioism (1994), the Lovano/Frisell trio with Dewey Redman added on one track.
11. At the Village Vanguard (1997) is a live album by the Lovano/Frisell trio recorded at the Village Vanguard in 1995.
12. I Have the Room Above Her (2004) is an album by the Lovano/Frisell trio on the ECM label and was the first release by the trio since At the Village Vanguard (1997).
13. On Broadway Vol. 4 (2006) or The Paradox of Continuity is an album by Paul Motian and the Trio 2000 + One.
14. Time and Time Again (2006) released on the ECM label and featuring performances by the Lovano/Frisell trio.
15. Live at the Village Vanguard (2007) is a live album by Paul Motian’s Trio 2000 + Two
16. Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. II (2008) is a live album by Paul Motian’s Trio 2000 + Two.
17. On Broadway Volume 5 (2009) is an album by Trio 2000 + Two.
18. Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. III (2010) is the final live album by Trio 2000 + Two.
19. Lost in a Dream (2010) is an album by a modified Trio 2000 with the substitution of Jason Moran on piano instead of a bassist.
20. The Windmills of Your Mind (2011) trio of Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan with vocalist, Petra Haden, Charlie Haden’s daughter, singing standards. The album was Motian’s final release prior to his death in late 2011.
There are three Paul Motian boxsets the most recent is from ECM titled Paul Motian in April 2013. This set compiles the six albums that Motian recorded for ECM between 1972 and 1984: Conception Vessel, Tribute, Dance, Le Voyage, Psalm and It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago.
In November 2012, Winter & Winter released Paul Motian on Broadway Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 which collects the five volumes of On Broadway into a single set.
CAM Jazz released a boxset titled Paul Motian in September 2010. This release compiles a number of albums which were originally issued by the Soul Note label: The Story of Maryam, Jack of Clubs, Misterioso, Notes (with Paul Bley), One Time Out (with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano) and Flux & Change (duet with Enrico Pieranunzi).