Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash, Tony Orrell - BleySchool (LP [w/ download card])
The trio pays homage to legendary pianist Paul Bley, drawing on both his tunes and improvisational approach. Bley's music encompassed latin-inspired grooves, deceptively simple and catchy melodies, as well as freer improvisations. His willingness to collaborate openly with European improvisers as well as being part of the American tradition was an attractive template to follow.
Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash and Tony Orrell grew up in the UK with the children's tv series Play School and when searching for a name for this album could not resist the pun - the inspiring figure of Bley combined with the element of childlike experimentation.
When the group decided to record in Bristol, UK there was no discussion about what to play, other than keeping in mind the process Paul Bley used in his long career. This included the desire not to repeat himself, and to be open to all the opportunities afforded by playing with timeless tunes, de- and re-constructing them at will. Hence the shout-outs to Carla Bley, Ornette Coleman and Duke Ellington.