Carla Bley

Carla Bley

Infobox musical artist
Name = Carla Bley

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Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = Carla Borg
Alias =
Born = Birth date and age|1936|5|11
Died =
Origin = Oakland, California, U.S.
Instrument = Piano, Organ
Voice_type =
Genre = Post bop
Occupation = Pianist
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts = Johnny Griffin, Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer
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Past_members =
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Carla Bley, née Borg, (born May 11, 1936) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and band leader. An important figure in the Free Jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera "Escalator Over The Hill" (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer and her ex-husband Paul Bley.

Bley was born in Oakland, California. Her father, a piano teacher and church choirmaster, encouraged her to sing and to learn to play the piano. After giving up the church to immerse herself in roller skating at the age of fourteen,Ben Sidran, "Talking Jazz: An Illustrated Oral History", Pomegranate Artbooks, 1992] she moved to New York at seventeen and became a cigarette girl at Birdland, where she met jazz pianist Bley, whom she married in 1957.Philippe Carles, André Clergeat, and Jean-Louis Comolli, "Dictionnaire du jazz", Paris, 1994] He encouraged her to start composing. The two later divorced.

Her compositions were soon beginning to appear on record — for example, "Bent Eagle" on George Russell's "Stratusphunk" in 1960, and then "Ictus" on Jimmy Giuffre's "Thesis" and Paul Bley's "Barrage".

In 1964 she was involved in organising the Jazz Composers Guild which brought together the most innovative musicians in New York at the time. She then had a personal and professional relationship with Michael Mantler, with whom she had a daughter, Karen, now also a musician in her own right.

With Mantler, she co-led the Jazz Composers' Orchestra and started the JCOA record label which issued a number of historic recordings by Clifford Thornton, Don Cherry and Roswell Rudd, as well as her own magnum opus "Escalator Over The Hill" and Mantler's "Jazz Composers' Orchestra" LPs. Bley and Mantler followed with WATT records, which has issued their recordings exclusively since the early 1970s. Bley and Mantler were pioneers in the development of independent artist-owned record labels and also started the now defunct New Music Distribution Service which specialized in small, independent labels that issued recordings of creative improvised music.

Bley has collaborated with a number of other artists, including Jack Bruce, Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, whose 1981 solo album "Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports" was a Carla Bley album in all but name. She arranged and composed music for Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and wrote "A Genuine Tong Funeral" for Gary Burton. Her arrangement of the music for Federico Fellini's "" appeared on Hal Willner's Nino Rota tribute record, "Amarcord Nino Rota". She has also contributed to other Hal Willner projects, including the song "Misterioso" for the tribute to Thelonious Monk entitled "That's the Way I Feel Now", which included Johnny Griffin as guest musician on tenor saxophone, and the Willner-directed tribute to Kurt Weill, entitled "", where she and her band contributed an arrangement of the title track, with Phil Woods as guest musician on alto saxophone. In the late 1980s, she also performed with Anton Fier's Golden Palominos and played on their 1985 album, "Visions of Excess".

Carla Bley has continued to record frequently with her own big band and a number of smaller ensembles. Her partner, the bassist Steve Swallow, has been her closest and most consistent musical associate in recent years. In 1997, a live version of "Escalator over the Hill" (re-orchestrated by Jeff Friedman) was performed for the first time in Cologne, Germany; in 1998 "Escalator" toured Europe, and another live performance took place in May 2006 in Essen, Germany.

In 2005 she arranged the music for and performed on Charlie Haden's latest Liberation Music Orchestra tour and recording, "Not in Our Name".

She has worked with original band member of Blood, Sweat and Tears notable Lew Soloff from New York City, on two CD records.



* 1971: "Escalator over the Hill" (Carla Bley and Paul Haines)
* 1974: "Tropic Appetites" (Carla Bley)
* 1975: "Live in 75' " (The Jack Bruce band)
* 1977: "Dinner Music" (Carla Bley)
* 1978: "European Tour 1977" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1979: "Musique Mecanique" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1981: "Fictitious Sports" (Nick Mason, recorded 1979)
* 1981: "Social Studies" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1982: "Live!" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1983: "The Ballad of the Fallen" (Charlie Haden and Carla Bley)
* 1984: "I Hate to Sing" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1984: "Heavy Heart" (Carla Bley)
* 1985: "Night-Glo" (Carla Bley)
* 1987: "Sextet" (Carla Bley)
* 1988: "Duets" (Carla Bley and Steve Swallow)
* 1989: "Fleur Carnivore" (Carla Bley)
* 1991: "The Very Big Carla Bley Band" (Carla Bley Band)
* 1992: "Go Together" (Carla Bley and Steve Swallow)
* 1993: "Big Band Theory" (Carla Bley)
* 1994: "Songs with Legs" (Carla Bley) [ [,/Labels/Xtra+Watt&we_start=8&lvredir=712 Songs with Legs: Performers, Tracklist etc.] ]
* 1996: "...Goes to Church" (Carla Bley Big Band)
* 1998: "Fancy Chamber Music" (Carla Bley)
* 1999: "Are we there yet?" (Carla Bley and Steve Swallow)
* 2000: "4x4" (Carla Bley)
* 2003: "Looking for America" (Carla Bley Big Band)
* 2004: "The Lost Chords" (Carla Bley)
* 2007: "The Lost Chords find Paolo Fresu" (Carla Bley)
* 2008: "Appearing Nightly" (Carla Bley & Her Remarkable Big Band)

Compositions on albums by other performers

* 1967: "Genuine Tong Funeral" (Gary Burton)
* 1969: "Liberation Music Orchestra" (Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra)
* 1975: "Dreams So Real" (Gary Burton)
* 1990: "Dream Keeper" (with Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra)
* 2005: "Not in Our Name" (with Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra)


* 1983/2003: "Live in Montreal"

ee also

*Liberation Music Orchestra
*List of experimental big bands


External links

* [ Official Carla Bley Website]
* [ EJN: Carla Bley]
* [ Carla Bley in conversation with Frank J. Oteri]
* [ Watt/XtraWatt music label]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carla Bley — 2007 Carla Bley (geborene Borg; * 11. Mai 1938[1] in Oakland, Kalifornien) ist eine US amerikanische Jazz Musikerin: Komponistin, Arrangeurin, Bandleaderin, Pianistin bzw. Organistin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Carla Bley — Datos generales Nombre real Carla Borg Nacimiento 15 de mayo de 1938 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Carla Bley — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bley. Carla Bley Carla Bley, 2009 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Duets (Carla Bley & Steve Swallow album) — Duets Studio album by Carla Bley Steve Swallow Released 1988 Re …   Wikipedia

  • Bley — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Carla Bley (* 1938), amerikanische Musikerin und Komponistin Fredo Bley (1929–2010), deutscher Maler und Grafiker Fritz Bley (1853–1931), alldeutsch völkischer Schriftsteller Helmut Bley (* 1935),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bley — Bley,   1) Carla, amerikanische Jazzpianistin und komponistin, * Oakland (Calif.) 11. 5. 1938; eine Zeit lang Ȋ mit 2); wurde als Komponistin von thematischem Material für den Freejazz, Ende der 60er und Anfang der 70er Jahre aber besonders durch …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Carla — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Carla peut désigner : Un prénom italien féminin, qui provient de Carolus (de l allemand harl, viril, fort). Carla de Roquefort, commune française,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bley — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Patronymie Carla Bley (1938 ) est une pianiste compositrice de jazz américaine. Gustave Bley est un compositeur français et un négociant de Champagne.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carla — italienischer Name, weibliche Form (Bedeutung: freier Mann, Heer). Namensträgerin: Carla Bley, US amerikanische Jazzmusikerin …   Deutsch namen

  • Paul Bley — 2006 Paul Bley (* 10. November 1932 in Montreal) ist ein kanadischer Jazz Pianist des Free Jazz und des Modern Creative Stils. Er wohnte und arbeitete lange Zeit in den USA. Leben Paul Bley lernte als Kind ab 1938 Geige un …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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