Click here to Support Jazz on the Tube
Pianist Paul Bley was born on November 10, 1932 in Montreal, Canada.
Bley began his career working various jobs in jazz, even organizing Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Charlie Haden’s first gig together.
He helped found the Jazz Composers Guild, a collective of trailblazing 1960s avant-garde
Bley is best known for his contributions to free jazz and his early adoption of the Moog synth.
In the 1950s he started the Jazz Workshop in Montreal. This led to opportunities to perform and record with Charlie Parker. It also led to opportunities to perform with Lester Young and Ben Webster.
Later he was affiliated with Charles Mingus. In 1953 Mingus produced the album “Introducing Paul Bley album.”
In 1964 Bley helped start the Jazz Composers Guild. The Guild brought together many free jazz musicians in New York: Roswell Rudd, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, his ex-wife Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, Sun Ra, and others.