R.I.P. Paul Bley
RIP fellow Canadian pianist Paul Bley, whom I'll have the pleasure of again exposing to my Hunter College History of Jazz students next week in the intensive Winter Session class I'm currently teaching (for the 7th consecutive year). Paul was a great inspiration (we both also recorded for Justin Time Records out of Montreal) and I will always remember introducing myself to him in the early 90s when his trio (with Swallow and Guiffre) were about to perform for a week at Sweet Basil, down from my old studio apartment on Leroy and 7th Ave in the Village. When he found out I lived so close and that I was about to leave town on tour for a week -and especially when I inquired about lessons with him - he offered to give me them in exchange for my letting him stay in my place while I was away. When I returned, my tiny apartment had been transformed beyond the point of possible recognition - incredibly cleaned, organized - he had even bought a nice rice jar that I still use and have to this day (!) And while I never got the promised lessons, I consider it a fair trade and will always remember my unusual encounter with this truly original (and wonderfully subversive and quirky) musician (and personality :-))...RIP, Paul.