This undated photo provided by ECM Records shows the visionary Canadian-born pianist Paul Bley. (Hans Kumpf/ECM Records via AP)
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Paul Bley, one of the towering figures in modern jazz piano who was among the first to explore the possibilities of synthesizers, has died.At age 17, Bley had stepped in at Montreal's Alberta Lounge to succeed the piano great Oscar Peterson, by far the Canadian who has had the most global influence in jazz.But he soon followed Peterson in relocating to New York where Bley studied at the Juilliard and quickly became well known in the fast-changing jazz scene.His debut album, 1953's "Introducing Paul Bley," featured a band with two jazz artists who would also achieve acclaim, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Art Blakey.Bley took up the electric piano as well as the Moog and ARP synthesizers, which would soon come into vogue in the genres of electronica and progressive rock.
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