There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Despite his carefully controlled playing style, keyboardist Paul Bley is a prolific recording artist. Two recent discs, Notes on Ornette, on SteepleChase, and Not Two, Not One, on ECM, are trio dates, and both touch on elements of Bley’s past. It was with Ornette Coleman that Bley opened up to the possibilities of the avant garde on the 1958 session The Fabulous Paul Bley Quintet, and the ECM disc reunites the classic lineup that recorded the 1963 session Paul Bley With Gary Peacock. But it is on his numerous solo records that Bley, using piano or synths, makes it clear he’s capable of creating idiosyncratic, experimental, and melodic music with minimal accompaniment or showiness. Even his new autobiography, Stopping Time, is only 179 pages long—proving yet again that Bley can say a lot with a little. He performs with Tony Martucci and Drew Gress at 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. at One Step Down, 2517 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. $25. (202) 955-7141. (Christopher Porter)