Paul Plimley

Paul (Horace) Plimley. Pianist, vibraphonist, composer, b Vancouver 16 Mar 1953.
Paul (Horace) Plimley. Pianist, vibraphonist, composer, b Vancouver 16 Mar 1953.

Plimley, Paul

Paul (Horace) Plimley. Pianist, vibraphonist, composer, b Vancouver 16 Mar 1953. His classical studies as pianist culminated 1971-3 at the University of British Columbia, where he was a pupil of Kum-Sing Lee He later studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, with Karl Berger 1978-9 and with Cecil Taylor in 1979. Taylor would remain a primary influence on his piano style, tempered over time by Plimley's own lyricism, wit, and tendency to romanticism. Plimley also studied interdisciplinary art and electronic music 1981-3 at Simon Fraser University.

He was a founder in 1977 of the New Orchestra Workshop and has been a member of several of its affiliated ensembles - eg, the New Orchestra Quintet, Sessione Milano, and the C.O.R.D. Orchestra. His own groups in Vancouver have included an octet active during the mid-1980s and a succession of trios.thereafter. He also has performed across Canada and in the USA, Holland, and Belgium as a solo pianist and has appeared at Canadian and US festivals, galleries and clubs in groups (most notably a duo) with the bassist Lisle Ellis. Plimley has been a mainstay of the du Maurier (Ltd) International Jazz Festival, Vancouver, playing alone, with Ellis and with several US musicians - eg, saxophonist Glenn Spearman, and the drummers Andrew Cyrille and Greg Bendian.

Plimley and Ellis have made the CDs Both Sides of the Same Mirror (1989, 9 Winds NWCD-0135) and When Silence Pulls (1990, Music & Arts CD-692), the latter with Cyrille. A single Plimley-Ellis duet, The First and Last Feeling, from their concert at the 1989 Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville, was included on Dix Improvisations (Victo 09). Plimley also has made several cassette recordings under his own name - eg, Hidden Shades (octet), 1986: The Annual Report (trio with the poet Gerry Gilbert), and Swinging Planets (trio) - as well as cassettes and LPs with New Orchestra Workshop groups (see N.O.W. discography). He is heard at the vibraphone in workshop ensemble led by Cecil Taylor at the Kongresshalle, Berlin, in a concert series documented by the 10-CD Cecil Taylor in Berlin 1988, issued by the German Free Music Productions label.

Further Reading

  • Lewis, Scott. 'Paul Plimley: out into the world,' Coda, 231, Apr-May 1990

    Boogie, Pete & The Senator