Studio album by
RecordedDecember, 1981
GenreAvant-garde jazz
downtown music
ProducerManfred Eicher
Paul Motian chronology
Le Voyage
The Story of Maryam

Psalm is the fifth album by Paul Motian to be released on the ECM label. It was released in 1982 and features the first recordings by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano, along with Ed Schuller and Billy Drewes.


The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 4½ stars, stating: "The eight compositions by drummer Paul Motian on this ECM release (which is available on CD) are rather dry and none caught on as future standards. But the playing by Motian's sidemen (tenors Joe Lovano and Billy Drewes, bassist Ed Schuller and especially the remarkable guitarist Bill Frisell) uplifted the music and gave this group a strong personality of its own. Although the results are not all that memorable, the music should please adventurous listeners. ".[1]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide3/5 stars[2]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings3/4 stars [3]
Tom HullB+ ((3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention))[4]

Track listing

  1. "Psalm" - 6:57
  2. "White Magic" - 3:00
  3. "Boomerang" - 5:43
  4. "Fantasm" - 6:07
  5. "Mandeville" - 5:03
  6. "Second Hand" - 9:16
  7. "Etude" - 4:16
  8. "Yahllah" - 7:39
All compositions by Paul Motian
  • Recorded December 1981 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg



  1. ^ a b Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed June 15, 2011
  2. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 148. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008) The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th edition). Penguin. p. 1048
  4. ^ Hull, Tom (June 2, 2020). "Music Week". Tom Hull – On the Web. Retrieved June 20, 2020.