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Paul Motian: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Drummer Paul Motian has spent more than 50 years in music, working with jazz luminaries like Lee Konitz and Thelonious Monk. At 75, he has a new CD of bebop jazz: Garden of Eden, featuring his own band.

The rare drummer who dislikes drum solos, some of Motian's most memorable work has been with the Bill Evans trio, with bassist Scott LaFaro. Their recordings include the classics Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Portrait of Jazz. In addition to playing with Monk and Konitz, Motian's resume includes work with Paul Bley and a long collaboration with Keith Jarrett.

Most recently, Motian has been playing with three of his own groups: his trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano; Trio 2000 + 1, with the bassist Larry Grenadier and the saxophonist Chris Potter (plus Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi); and the Paul Motian Band, which includes three guitarists, two tenor saxophonists, bass and drums.

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Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.
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