I had been playing with Paul for 12 years and he had had a major impact on my musicianship.
We were on several record dates together including two of mine on Double Time and HatHut, played gigs around New York, and I played in his quintet at the Village Vanguard. We talked a lot about music, movies, film noir, football, jazz and opera singers, computers (which he got into in his seventies) and restaurants around town.
So I decided to do an 80th birthday tribute to Paul and his singularly original and poignant composing and playing style. I had played all of these ten compositions with Paul, in both his band and my trio, so I just told the engineer to roll ‘tape’ and I played them straight through without a break between. The order has been changed since, except for “Drum Music”, which had been Paul’s break tune, or “Theme Music” as he put it, for every set, every night, for every band of his that played at the Vanguard for the past 15 years at least. This one’s for you Paul: we all miss you.