Paul Plimley Day

March 16, 1953 – May 18, 2022

A tribute to the Canadian avant-garde jazz pianist

Pianist Paul Plimley passed away on May 18, 2022 at the age of 69.

He was born Mar. 16, 1953 in Vancouver, British Columbia where he studied classical piano.

Plimley was attracted to the freer aspects of jazz and improvisation, founding the New Orchestra Workshop in 1977, an organization that had several ensembles including the NOW Orchestra.

The pianist, who studied with Karl Berger and Cecil Taylor at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, worked extensively with bassist Lisle Ellis, recording with Ellis in duos and trios.

Plimley was a regular at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, recorded a set of Ornette Coleman songs (Kaleisdoscopes), and was on records with Barry Guy, Henry Kaiser, Dennis Gonzalez, Andrew Cyrille, Joe McPhee, Leo Smith, George Lewis, and the New Orchestra Quintet,

While always an adventurous improviser, Paul Plimley also had a fertile sense of humor that made his improvisations fairly accessible.

Here is Paul Plimley in a duet with Lisle Ellis from 2000.

-Scott Yanow


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