Paul Motian Band

Paul Motian


Paiste Artist Since
June 1972

United States

Main Affiliation
Paul Motian Band

Paul Motian


Cymbals listed from left to right

15" Formula 602 Classic Sound Edge Hi-Hat
20" Formula 602 Classic China (discontinued)
22" Sound Creation Dark Ride (discontinued)
20" 2002 Ride


25.03.1931-22.11.2011 Born in Philadelphia, PA, Paul Motian grew up with Armenian and Turkish music and dumbeg rhythms. He started to study drumming at 13. His early professional career started in New York City, accompanying Bill Evans, Charles Lloyd, Arlo Guthrie, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Haden and Keith Jarrett. In 1977 he formed his own group, recording initially for ECM Records in the 1970s and early 1980s and then for Soul Note, JMT, and Winter & Winter before returning to ECM in 2005. From the early 1980s he led a trio featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano, occasionally joined by bassists Ed Schuller, Charlie Haden, or Marc Johnson, and other musicians, including Jim Pepper, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman and Geri Allen. In addition to playing Motian's compositions, the group recorded tributes to Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, and a series of Paul Motian on Broadway albums, featuring original interpretations of jazz standards. Despite his important associations with pianists, Motian's work as a leader since the 1970s rarely included a pianist in his ensembles and relied heavily on guitarists. Motian's first instrument was the guitar, and he apparently retained an affinity for the instrument: in addition to his groups with Frisell, his first two solo albums on ECM featured Sam Brown, and his Electric Bebop Band featured two and occasionally three electric guitars. The group was founded in the early 1990s, and featured a variety of young guitar and saxophone players, in addition to electric bass and Motian's drums. Motian died of complications from myelodysplastic syndrome.

Setup Cymbals

Only standard models appear in this section.
  • Details

    Sizes: 14", 15"
    Volume: Medium
    Weight: Medium

    Sound character: Rich, silvery, bright, somewhat mellow. Wide range, fairly complex mix. Quick and responsive feel with a soft and warm touch. Very controllable. Full, round and energetic open sound, paired with a light and airy chick sound. Ideal for playing at moderate volume level and a wide range of studio applications.

  • Sounds