Paul Motian

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Date of Birth March 25, 1931
Place of Birth Pennsylvania
Date of Death Nov 22, 2011 (80)
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Paul Motian

Stephen Paul Motian 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. Motian began his career as a bandleader in the early 1970s. Perhaps his two most notable groups were a longstanding trio of guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, and the Electric Bebop Band which featured the drummer working mostly with younger musicians doing interpretations of bebop standards.

Birth name: Stephen Paul Motian
Born: Mar 25, 1931, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin: Providence, Rhode Island
Died: Nov 22, 2011, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Genres: Jazz, bebop, hard bop, post-bop, avant-garde jazz, free improvisation
Occupation(s): Musician, composer, bandleader
Instruments: Drums, percussion
Years active: 1954–2010
Labels: ECM, Soul Note, JMT, Winter & Winter
Associated acts: Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Paul Bley, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Marc Johnson, Geri Allen, Enrico Pieranunzi, Masabumi Kikuchi, Chris Potter
IMDb: Paul Motian's IMDb
Spotify: Paul Motian's Spotify

About Paul Motian

Jazz drummer and band leader who released an album called The Windmills of Your Mind. He played with the Bill Evans piano trio.

Before Fame

He attended Manhattan School of Music. He served in the Navy during the Korean War.


He performed in a swing band when he first learned how to play the drums.

Family Life

He lived in New York until his death.


He performed with Thelonious Monk.

Information related to Paul Motian

  • Black Saint/Soul Note artists
  • ECM Records artists
  • Avant-garde jazz musicians
  • American jazz drummers
  • Musicians from Philadelphia
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Latest information about Paul Motian updated on November 28, 2020.

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