Il profumo del jazz - Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane - Napoli, 1996

Paul Bley: la logica del caso - Edizioni LEPOS - Palermo, 2004

English Version
Paul Bley: The Logic of Chance”, Vehiculepress, Montreal, 2010, trad. Greg Burk



(from Paul Bley: la logica del caso)

The magic word to describe this process could be “Equilibrium”. Or maybe ambivalence, oscillation, ambiguity would be better, instead of equilibrium. A music animated by a constant spirit of research, that moves out of harmony and rules of metronomic tempo, and at the same time deeply rooted to tonalities and to Blues. A music declaring itself – and effectively being – freely improvised and having its target in a complete overturn of traditional jazz writing.

A music of this kind is not based on a static, consolidated balance; it is slipping, fragile, uncertain, always elsewhere. There’s nothing codified, predictable in it, and the absence of codes or direction cannot be its flag. In free moments, tradition elements are evocated – and where past and tradition are all around, extraneous elements contradict them.

The contradictory character of musical material, its placing besides codes and its not being able to exist without them, its “guided transgression” character are suggested as the only alternative to a “dogmatic” conception of music, according to which it moves either within or without a code. But a music imprisoned in a system or completely free from any system does not exist, except in most unbending conservatories and academies or, on the other side, in the stuttering of incompetents. The history of music is the history of rebellion to rules while respecting them, of their overturn from the inside.


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