Paul Bley

Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

About Paul Bley

Pianist Paul Bley took the styles and techniques associated with Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, and Bill Evans to new levels of creative experimentation, becoming an indispensable force in modern music by combining the best elements of bop and early modern jazz with extended free improvisation and procedural dynamics often found in 20th-century chamber music. This approach places him in league with such diverse artists as Red Garland, Mal Waldron, Jaki Byard, Andrew Hill, Sun Ra, and Marilyn Crispell. Even a cursory overview of Bley's life and work can be pleasantly overwhelming, for he is among the most heavily recorded of all jazz pianists and his story is inextricably intertwined with the evolution of modern jazz during the second half of the 20th century.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
November 10, 1932