Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow - Andando el Tiempo - ECM 2487



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“I’m like a slow sponge, I take in ideas from everywhere, and when I eventually find my notes, I know they’re the right ones.”

Carla Bley once attributed her originality as a composer to blissful ignorance of “right” and “wrong” ways to write a song. Early role models included Thelonious Monk, Erik Satie and Miles Davis, all of whom achieved much with few notes. However, Bley’s oeuvre also includes maximalist pieces such as the epic “chronotransduction” Escalator over the Hill, an album of Fancy Chamber Music, and many spirited pieces for bands of all sizes. Critic Nat Hentoff once wrote that her scores “are matched only by those of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus for yearning lyricism, explosive exultation and other expressions of the human condition”.

For forty years Bley documented her music on WATT, the ECM-distributed label she co-founded with

Michael Mantler and today runs with Steve Swallow. Trios (2013) marked Carla Bley’s first recording for ECM itself. Further recordings for ECM are in preparation.

Among the many awards bestowed upon Carla Bley are a Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition (1972), the German Jazz Trophy "A Life for Jazz" (2009), and honorary doctorates from l’Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail (2012) and the New England Conservatory (2014). In 2015 she received an NEA Jazz Master Award: “I can think of many musicians who deserve this award, and won't be getting it,” she commented. “Luckily, I'm not one of them."

Carla Bley’s 80th birthday will be celebrated at New York’s new Steinway Hall on May 11, where Carla, Steve and Andy will perform together and take part in a question-and-answer session with the public. On June 2 and 3 festivities move to Germany ,where Carla and Steve join the NDR Big Band and Boys Choir to present La Leçon Française


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at Hamburg’s Rolf-Liebermann-Studio. In July, the Bley/Sheppard/Swallow trio is on the road Europe with concerts in Thionville, France (July 9), Warsaw, Poland (July 13), Amsterdam, Netherlands (July 15), London, England (July 17), Nora, Sardinia (July 20), Bologna, Italy (July 21), and Stresa, Italy (July 22).