Musicians

12 December 2017

Paul Montana, an American Jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer, In Philadelphia on March 25, 1931, he grew up In Providence and began playing the drums at age 12. They considered him an advanced Improviser and a bandleader with a taste of challenging post-bop. Halls first musical attraction was guitar. Some people would consider him a late learner on the drums.Usually when It comes to music lessons or learning an Instrument, children start around the age of seven or eight. Due to the Korean War, Paul was forced to Join the army and left the age of 24.

Paul played In school bands until his high school graduation In 1949. He played local gigs around Providence before catching on with a band that toured New England playing stock big band arrangements. Bebop pioneer Kenny Clarke, whom Montana often credited with inspiring his wonderfully sensitive brush playing, was a major influence around this time, as was Max Roach.Paul became a professional drummer in 1954 and in 1 955 he moved to New York where he played with multiple musicians including Theologies Monk, Leonie Tristan, Coleman Hawkins, Tony Scott, and George Russell. He eventually settled in a regular as part of Bill Evans’ trio along with bassist Scott Labor. He played along with Evans’ trio from 1959-1964, where he first became prominence. He also appeared on his classics Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby.

After his years with Evans’ trio, he left to join forces with Paul Blebby and began a long association and relationship with Keith Garrett in 1966. From there he appeared with American-based quartet up until 1977. Along the ay Paul freelanced for artists like Moose Allison, Charles Lloyd, Carla Blebby, and Charlie Hade’s Liberation Music Ensemble, and turned down the chance to be John Chlorate’s second drummer. Montana did his writing on the piano-?and his first set of keys was sure cherished by him as he bought it from Keith Garrett.Montana’s 1972 debut as a leader, Conception Vessel, was recorded for ECMA. He followed up In the next two years in 1974 with the Tribute. He had the support of the record producers Stefan Winter and Manfred Etcher, who released his music on the labels Winter amp; Winter and ECMA, and of Lorraine Gordon, the proprietor and presiding spirit of the Village Vanguard, who booked him many times a year, either In his own groups or those of others.

For nearly all of his bands, his repertory was a combination of terse and mysterious originals he composed at the Plano, American-songbook standards and music from the bebop tradition of his youth. He formed a regular working group In 1977 (which featured tenor Joe Lavabo) and recorded several more dates for ECMA, then revamped the ensemble to include guitarist Bill Frisbee in 1980. Additional dates for ECMA and Soul Note followed, and in 1988 Montana moved to JAM, where he recorded a long string of fine albums beginning with Monk in Montana.Part of the reason why Montana was so successful at subverting expectations and demolishing any cliched concept of what “the Jazz drummer” should be is because he had a firm grasp of tradition; he possessed the ability to follow any rule that he might also gleefully break. Montana was a huge influential Jazz drummer, composer, percussionist, and a much respected artist for what he did for Jazz music. Montana died from complications of melodramatics syndrome, a bone marrow disorder, early in the morning on November 22, 2011 in New York City at Mount SinaiHospital . He was 80 years old.

Paul Montana released Lost in My Dream on March 9th, 2010. With Chris Potter (tenor saxophone), Jason Moran (piano), and of course Paul Montana (drums), they did a cover to Irving Berlins song Be Careful It’s My Heart, was one of the few that stood out to me. Montana seemed to use a soft, relaxing, and mind clearing sound that made me feel different emotions and thoughts when I listened to it. There was no bass in the song which made room for more focus on the actual instruments and how they flowed together to make such a good cover.

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