Closer (Paul Bley album)

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Studio album by
RecordedDecember 12, 1965
StudioRLA Studio, New York City
ESP 1021
ProducerPaul Bley
Paul Bley chronology

Closer is the seventh album led by jazz pianist Paul Bley, featuring seven compositions by Carla Bley (and one each by Bley, Annette Peacock and Ornette Coleman), recorded in 1965 and released on the ESP-Disk label.[1][2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Penguin Guide to Jazz[5]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[6]

Allmusic awarded the album 4 stars noting "Bley and his trio understand that with compositions of this nature, full of space and an inherent, interior-pointing lyricism, that pace is everything. And while this set clocks in at just over 29 minutes in length, the playing is so genuine and moving that it doesn't need to be any longer".[3] PopMatters review stated "Closer is regarded as a new beginning for the jazz pianist who used to provide such elegaic keystrokes for Jim Giuffre's trio. The album is a brief tour of what it meant to be a piano trio back then... a gutsy record".[4] The Penguin Guide to Jazz said "Closer is still a delight nearly 40 years after first release. The key track here is Carla's classic "Ida Lupino", which her former husband turn into a rolling, almost filmic narrative with layers of detail that belie the simple materials. Some have noted a continuing cross-fertilisation of ideas with Ornette Coleman on these tracks. That's harder to hear if you aren't aware of the association, but the staccato rhythms and bitten-off melodic ideas do point in that direction".[5] Reviewing the 2008 rerelease All About Jazz stated "Bley makes a welcome return with one of his best".[7]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Carla Bley except as indicated

  1. "Ida Lupino" - 2:55
  2. "Start" - 2:21
  3. "Closer" - 3:27
  4. "Sideways in Mexico" - 2:55
  5. "Batterie" - 3:17
  6. "And Now the Queen" - 2:16
  7. "Figfoot" (Paul Bley) - 3:23
  8. "Crossroads" (Ornette Coleman) - 2:30
  9. "Violin" - 2:57
  10. "Cartoon" (Annette Peacock) - 2:16



  1. ^ Paul Bley catalog, accessed June 19, 2014
  2. ^ ESP-Disk catalog, accessed June 19, 2014
  3. ^ a b Jurek, T., Allmusic Review accessed June 19, 2014
  4. ^ a b Garratt, J., PopMatters Review, December 2, 2013
  5. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). London: Penguin. pp. 133. ISBN 0141023279.
  6. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 27. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  7. ^ D'Souza, J., All About Jazz Review, May 20, 2008