Paul Motian

A masterfully subtle drummer and a superb colorist, Paul Motian was also an advanced improviser and a bandleader with a taste for challenging post-bop. Born Stephen Paul Motian in Philadelphia on March 25, 1931, he grew up in Providence and began playing the drums at age 12, eventually touring New England in a swing band. He moved to New York in 1955 and played with numerous musicians -- including Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Coleman Hawkins, Tony Scott, and George Russell -- before settling into a regular role as part of Bill Evans' most famous trio (with bassist Scott LaFaro), appearing on his classics Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby.