Ballads (Paul Bley album)

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Ballads (Paul Bley album).jpg
Studio album by Paul Bley
Released 1971
Recorded March 31 and July 28, 1967
Genre Jazz
Length 32:37
Label ECM
Producer Manfred Eicher
Paul Bley chronology
Paul Bley with Gary Peacock
(1970)Paul Bley with Gary Peacock1970

Ballads is an album by Canadian jazz pianist Paul Bley recorded in 1967 and released on the ECM label in 1971.[1]


The Allmusic review by Eugene Chadbourne awarded the album 2½ stars stating "Ballads, which really seems to make ballads out of ballads, has been considered both worthy of hanging on the museum wall alongside the other masterpieces and being accorded special merit as the jazz record most used for background music... What all this adds up to, when not shoved to the background of the listener's psyche, is a beautiful sound indeed, this album being one of several that helped establish the entire concept of the divine "ECM sound," despite actually being one of Bley's own productions... Surely it was fun making this album, but it has not proven to be an album that is that much fun to really listen to. Perhaps the music's magic is marred by the excessive echo and pristine recording quality, or maybe the playing is simply pretentious. A decision can be made at the end of the recording, if the listener is still awake".[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Annette Peacock
  1. "Ending" - 17:15
  2. "Circles" - 3:10
  3. "So Hard It Hurts" - 12:12
  • Recorded in New York City on March 31, 1967 (tracks 2 & 3) and July 28, 1967 (track 1).



  1. ^ ECM discography accessed August 29, 2011
  2. ^ a b Chadbourne, E. Allmusic Review accessed August 29, 2011