Stephen Paul Motian (March 25, 1931 – November 22, 2011) was an American jazz drummer, percussionist and composer of Armenian extraction.
He first came to prominence in the late 1950s in the piano trio of Bill Evans, and later led several groups. Motian played an important role in freeing the drummer from strict time-keeping duties.
Motian became a professional musician in 1954, and briefly played with pianist Thelonious Monk. He became well known as the drummer in pianist Bill Evans’s trio (1959–64), initially alongside bassist Scott LaFaro and later Chuck Israels.
Subsequently he played with pianists Paul Bley (1963-4) and Keith Jarrett (1967–76). Other musicians with whom Motian performed and/or recorded in the early period of his career included Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh,Lee Konitz, Joe Castro, Arlo Guthrie (Motian performed briefly with Guthrie in 1968-69, and performed with the singer at Woodstock), Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, and Don Cherry. Motian subsequently worked with musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, Bill Frisell, Leni Stern, Joe Lovano, Alan Pasqua, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Bill McHenry, Stephane Oliva, Frank Kimbrough, and many more.
Stephen Paul Motian cause of death
Paul Motian died on November 22, 2011 of myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder. Paul Motian was 80 years old at the time of his death
Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden & Paul Motian – Germany 1972