The Associated Press reported yesterday that jazz drummer Paul Motian died in a Manhattan hospital from complications with a bone marrow disorder. He was 80. Motian rose to prominence performing with Bill Evans, one of the greatest jazz pianists. He was part of several Evans trios, including the group with Scott LaFaro on bass, who released between 1959-61 four of the most memorable jazz albums of all time: Portrait in Jazz, Explorations, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and Waltz for Debby. As of Tuesday he was the only surviving member of those sessions.
We had planned to do a preening article on the latter two of those four albums, and now it seems more pertinent than ever. Until its publication on Friday, and for many years after it, in pace requiescat, Mr. Motian.