Drummer Paul Motian passed away, in a New York City hospital, early this morning. The cause was complications of myelodysplastic syndrome, according to Motian's niece, Cindy McGuirl. This is the same rare blood and bone-marrow disorder that took the life of saxophonist Michael Brecker
' groundbreaking trio in the mid-1950s, Motian went on to become an innovator in his own right, creating a style of drumming that was as much about implication and suggestion as it was overt pulse and groove. Texture and color were paramount from a drummer who, in addition to recording in groups like pianist Keith Jarrett
that broke the most ground and became his definitive touchstone, as he explored repertoire ranging from standards from The Great American Songbook to original compositions rooted in both the jazz tradition and his Armenian background.
Recent recordings include Lost in a Dream (ECM, 2010), with a new trio featuring Chris Potter and Jason Moran