Paul Bley’s career spans six decades. He played bebop in New York in the 1950s, was influential in the creation of free jazz with Ornette Coleman in Los Angeles, was an early proponent of synthesizers, had a cutting edge record label in the 1970s and has performed with many of the major names in jazz. Meanwhile, he managed to create a unique piano style that has influenced artists from Keith Jarrett to Ethan Iverson. In this workshop, we’ll listen to selections from Bley’s career and discuss them in terms piano technique and historical context. We’ll also look at his compositions and those of his longtime collaborator, Annette Peacock.
Michael Coleman is an Oakland-based pianist and keyboardist. He has performed, toured and recorded with a wide range of local artists as well with his own groups. He studied jazz piano at Oberlin College.