Carla Bley - Outrageous, engaging and vital.

Carla Bley With The Stewart Forbes Big Band – Live In Glasgow – 1992 – Past Daily Downbeat

Carla Bley – Outrageous, engaging and vital.

Carla Bley With The Stewart Forbes Big Band – Live In Glasgow – July 10, 1992 – BBC Scotland –

The Inimitable Carla Bley this weekend, with the Stewart Forbes Big Band – live at The Tramway in Glasgow during the 6th Glasgow Jazz Festival on July 10, 1992 and preserved for posterity by BBC Scotland.

A lot has been written about Carla Bley; her approach to Jazz, her lasting impression, her growing audience. She’s been around a while and has brought a fresh perspective, along with a dose of humor and a sense of the outrageous. Purists give a sideways glance, while peers enthusiasts and a wide ranging audience view her contributions as essential and an integral part of the ever-growing and enveloping platform that Jazz inhabits and has for at least the past 40 years. Her profound dedication to her art and audience, have continually placed her on music’s cutting edge. As an entrepreneur in the recording and publishing businesses, her creativity and financial savvy have nurtured the careers of many new artists who, because of their reluctance to conform to set standards of commerciality, found difficulty securing financial support from traditional channels. That she accomplished her success with no formal training—and in a male-dominated field—is proof of her talent and perseverance.

Here’s a blurb via Encyclopedia.com that pretty much nails her unique and engaging style:

Bley’s method of composing and arranging is considered among the most eclectic of all jazz artists. Her work has displayed an instantly recognizable style that combines musical elements of swing, bebop, marches, rock and roll, waltzes, and even German cabaret music. Yet in spite of her unconventional style, she has always remained something of a conservative in her melodies and harmonic structures; as Gary Burton told a Down Beat correspondent, “I know a Carla Bley tune the minute I hear it. It’s direct. It is not complicated. It is not layer upon layer of subtle interaction. It’s very strong melody, very strong harmony, simply constructed. Carla wants her music to hit you square between the eyes.”

If you’re not familiar with the music of Carla Bley, you can start here but I urge you to go exploring. Her music is a veritable feast and soother of souls. Trust me.

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