Reviews that mention Carla Bley

May 13, 2017

Jimmy Giuffre 3

Bremen & Stuttgart 1961
Emanem 5208

By Ken Waxman

Arguably improvised music most underappreciated pioneer groups, clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s trio of the early 1960s with pianist Pail Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, toured infrequently made poorly selling LPs and finally called it quits when a door gig yielded the members 35 cents each. Yet more than a half-century later the foundations of sophisticated chamber jazz characterized by Keith Jarrett and the dissemination of now classic Carla Bley compositions can be traced back to the trio. MORE

May 13, 2017

Jimmy Giuffre 3

Bremen & Stuttgart 1961
Emanem 5208

By Ken Waxman

Arguably improvised music most underappreciated pioneer groups, clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s trio of the early 1960s with pianist Pail Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, toured infrequently made poorly selling LPs and finally called it quits when a door gig yielded the members 35 cents each. Yet more than a half-century later the foundations of sophisticated chamber jazz characterized by Keith Jarrett and the dissemination of now classic Carla Bley compositions can be traced back to the trio. MORE

February 11, 2016

Paul Bley

A Modern Jazz Piano Master
By Ken Waxman

Paul Bley who died at 83 in early January was probably never bothered that he was usually described as Canada’s second best-known jazz pianist; Oscar Peterson was the first. But Bley, who shared a Montreal birth with Peterson, and who similarly was honored with induction into the Order of Canada in 2008 – albeit 30 plus years after Peterson – was for all intents and purposes a much more radical pianist than O.P. Peterson, seven years Bley’s senior, was a flamboyant stylist who adapted Art Tatum’s all-encompassing swing era techniques to the structure of modern jazz during an almost incalculable number of performances from the late 1940s until his death in 2007. However Bley, represented on more than 100 discs during his career, cycled through a variety of keyboard strategies from the outgoing to the cerebral, eventually matching the atonality of off-centre techniques with straightforward, melodically measured motion. He was also one of the first serious improvisers to deal with the sonic possibilities that could be extracted from the then brand-new portable Moog synthesizer. Later, such better-known pianists as Keith Jarrett, The Bad Plus’ Ethan Iverson and Satoko Fujii developed their playing following the examples of Bley’s breakthroughs. MORE

December 8, 2013

Paul Bley Trio

Closer
ESP-Disk ESP 1021

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
MORE

March 7, 2005

BLEY/SHEPPARAD/SWALLOW/DRUMMOND

The Lost Chords
Watt/32 B0002619-02

STEVE SWALLOW/OHAD TALMOR
L’Histoire du Clochard
Palmetto PM 2103

Forty years on from when he first made his mark serving as the rhythmic backbone of many different bands, Steve Swallow is now as noted as a composer he is as the foremost electric bass guitar player in modern jazz.

Each of these CDs showcases one of his talents. He wrote the seven compositions that make up the L’HISTOIRE DU CLOCHARD (the bum’s tale), which were then arranged and orchestrated by Israeli-American tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor for a chamber sextet. THE LOST CHORDS is a straight up combo session, recorded live on a European tour. The nine whimsical tunes are from veteran pianist Carla Bley, who often writes unique music for larger ensembles, but here confines herself to a compact all-star jazz quartet. Besides Bley and Swallow, the members are American drummer Billy Drummond, who usually plays with Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes, and saxophonist Andy Sheppard from the United Kingdom. Sheppard, an original soloist, is neither part of the BritImprov avant-garde nor a fellow traveller with the U.K.’s band of neo-conservatives. MORE