Paul Motian on “Margot,” 1967

This transcription of Paul is from my very favorite recording of him, Keith Jarrett‘s “Life Between The Exit Signs.” Recorded in May of 1967, it was the first recording of Keith Jarrett together with Paul and Charlie Haden.

My recollection of hearing this recording for the first time is described in the introduction of my first interview with Paul elsewhere in this blog:

I have a vivid memory of the first time I heard Paul Motian. I was a sixteen year old record store employee, and playing in the store was Keith Jarrett’s 1966 recording of “Margot” from “Life Between The Exit Signs.” As the music began I stopped in my tracks, struck by a conception of drumming more adventurous, more complex, and more musical than anything I had ever heard before. In place of traditional timekeeping patterns were extraordinarily detailed rhythmic phrases alternating with carefully sustained brush strokes and deliberate silences, each phrase simultaneously a response to the phrase preceding it and to Jarrett’s piano improvisation, with Motian’s performance slowly rising and falling in complexity from the beginning of the piece to it’s end. As I listened, I thought, “this is exactly how the drums always should have been played.”