CARLA BLEY

Progressive Big Band / Post Bop / Avant-Garde Jazz / Post-Fusion Contemporary / 21st Century Modern / Pop/Art Song/Folk / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
CARLA BLEY picture
Carla Bley (born Lovella May Borg; May 11, 1936 – October 17, 2023) was an American jazz composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she was 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, John Scofield, and her ex-husband Paul Bley.

Bley was born in Oakland, California in 1936, to Emil Borg, a piano teacher and church choirmaster, who encouraged her to sing and to learn to play the piano, and Arline Anderson, who died when Bley was eight years old. After giving up the church to immerse herself in roller skating at the age of fourteen, she moved to New York at seventeen and became a cigarette girl
read more...
Thanks to snobb for the updates

CARLA BLEY Online Videos

See all CARLA BLEY videos

Buy CARLA BLEY music

More places to buy jazz & CARLA BLEY music

CARLA BLEY Discography

CARLA BLEY albums / top albums

CARLA BLEY Jazz Realities album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Jazz Realities
Avant-Garde Jazz 1966
CARLA BLEY Escalator Over The Hill ( with Paul Haines) album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Escalator Over The Hill ( with Paul Haines)
Progressive Big Band 1971
CARLA BLEY Tropic Appetites (aka V.I.P.-Jazz 27) album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Tropic Appetites (aka V.I.P.-Jazz 27)
Progressive Big Band 1974
CARLA BLEY Dinner Music album cover 3.12 | 4 ratings
Dinner Music
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1977
CARLA BLEY European Tour 1977 album cover 3.98 | 4 ratings
European Tour 1977
Progressive Big Band 1978
CARLA BLEY The Carla Bley Band ‎: Musique Mecanique album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Carla Bley Band ‎: Musique Mecanique
Progressive Big Band 1979
CARLA BLEY Social Studies album cover 2.96 | 4 ratings
Social Studies
Progressive Big Band 1981
CARLA BLEY Mortelle Randonnée album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mortelle Randonnée
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1983
CARLA BLEY Heavy Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Heart
Progressive Big Band 1984
CARLA BLEY Night-Glo album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Night-Glo
Progressive Big Band 1985
CARLA BLEY Sextet album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
Sextet
Progressive Big Band 1987
CARLA BLEY Duets (with Steve Swallow) album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Duets (with Steve Swallow)
Post Bop 1988
CARLA BLEY The Very Big Carla Bley Band album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
The Very Big Carla Bley Band
Progressive Big Band 1991
CARLA BLEY Go Together (with Steve Swallow) album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Go Together (with Steve Swallow)
Post Bop 1993
CARLA BLEY Big Band Theory album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Big Band Theory
Progressive Big Band 1993
CARLA BLEY Fancy Chamber Music album cover 2.88 | 4 ratings
Fancy Chamber Music
Progressive Big Band 1998
CARLA BLEY 4X4 album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
4X4
Progressive Big Band 2000
CARLA BLEY Looking for America album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Looking for America
Progressive Big Band 2003
CARLA BLEY The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2007
CARLA BLEY Carla's Christmas Carols (with Steve Swallow / Partyka Brass Quintet) album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Carla's Christmas Carols (with Steve Swallow / Partyka Brass Quintet)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2009
CARLA BLEY Trios album cover 3.43 | 3 ratings
Trios
Post Bop 2013
CARLA BLEY Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow : Andando el Tiempo album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow : Andando el Tiempo
21st Century Modern 2016
CARLA BLEY Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow : Life Goes On album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow : Life Goes On
21st Century Modern 2020

CARLA BLEY EPs & splits

CARLA BLEY live albums

CARLA BLEY Live! album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Live!
Progressive Big Band 1982
CARLA BLEY I Hate To Sing album cover 2.25 | 2 ratings
I Hate To Sing
Progressive Big Band 1984
CARLA BLEY Fleur Carnivore album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Fleur Carnivore
Progressive Big Band 1989
CARLA BLEY Songs With Legs (with Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow) album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Songs With Legs (with Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
CARLA BLEY The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church
Progressive Big Band 1996
CARLA BLEY Are We There Yet? (with Steve Swallow) album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Are We There Yet? (with Steve Swallow)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
CARLA BLEY Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow / Billy Drummond : The Lost Chords : The Lost Chords album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow / Billy Drummond : The Lost Chords : The Lost Chords
Post Bop 2004
CARLA BLEY Appearing Nightly album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Appearing Nightly
Progressive Big Band 2008

CARLA BLEY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CARLA BLEY re-issues & compilations

CARLA BLEY Birds of Paradise album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Birds of Paradise
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
CARLA BLEY rarum: Selected Recordings album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
rarum: Selected Recordings
Progressive Big Band 2004

CARLA BLEY singles (0)

CARLA BLEY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Montreal
Progressive Big Band 2002

CARLA BLEY Reviews

CARLA BLEY Social Studies

Album · 1981 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
Carla Bley is American free jazz pianist and composer whose music often contains experimentalism. On Social Studies -- the only Bley album I've listened to -- the composer plays organ and piano and is accompanied by a rhythm section and a wind sextet.

The opener 'Reactionary Tango' (12:52) is the longest track; other five tracks are between 4 and 7 minutes. The dance-like rhythm structure forms the basis, on top of which the trumpet, trombone, saxes and other wind instruments play almost as in a dialogue, with quick, little piano melodies thrown in here and there. This harmlessly playful and mildly humorous composition actually feels a bit too long since the changes along the way aren't very big. Even the soprano sax solo remains rather restricted. But towards the end it begins to feel more interesting as the organ makes me think of the early 70's Soft Machine. Indeed to me this music seems closer in spirit to the early British jazz/fusion with some continental flavour, than to American jazz. 'Copyright Royalties' is also temperate and easy-going.

'Utviklingssang' is a moody piece in a slow tempo. Alto sax has the biggest role in it. 'Valse Sinistre' is another composition based on a dance rhythm, and it's not exactly sinister. 'Floater' starts cautiously in a "where do we go from here?" manner but gets slightly livelier. Bass is great here. The final piece 'Walking Batteriewoman' has the fastest and edgiest melodies. Tenor sax has references to be-bop, I guess.

This album is happily less experimental or difficult than I was prepared to hear, but on the other hand it's also a bit duller than I expected. I like the overall feel: temperate, intelligent, witty, gentlemanly and mildly playful and unpredictable. However, the brass-oriented arrangement is surely not up to my jazz taste.

CARLA BLEY Trios

Album · 2013 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
"Trios", Carla Bley's first album for ECM (for decades, her previous releases were all self-produced with ECM as the distributor only) is an elegant collection of her classic compositions recorded in trio format (with her regular collaborators bassist Steve Swallow and British reedist Andy Sheppard). These are well-known songs we have heard in big band arrangements (often in more than just one version), but they sound different here, much more chamber in quality and very "European" as played by a drummer-less trio.

After all these decades, Carla still sounds more inventive than nostalgic, even on popular compositions. The musical material is extremely strong here, and a slightly melancholic atmosphere is tastefully spiced with humor and touches of Latin and French elegance. Recorded in one of the "southern" ECM studios in Swiss Lugano, this album's sound is warm and opposite to the classic ECM "cool & clear northern sound" as is usual for Oslo studio recordings. Bop and swing roots are both used as an excellent basis for injecting more life into "Trios", making it different from lifeless swing-less ECM recordings.

Not a revolutionary release, but a great album, one of those bringing fame to the ECM catalog.

CARLA BLEY European Tour 1977

Album · 1978 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Recorded in a Berlin studio for a small audience, this album is possibly the most rewarding Carla Bley album ever. Her 10-piece ensemble includes such different artists as NYC jazz veterans trombonist Roswell Rudd and drummer Andrew Cyrille, rock pianist Terry Adams, ex-Soft Machine members Hugh Hopper on bass and Elton Dean on alto and British tenor player Gary Windo.

There are just four compositions, but all them are full of melodies, humor, brassy big-band arrangements and lots of Canterbury rock atmosphere. The album's closer, a 19+ minutes long " Spangled Banner Minor And Other Patriotic Songs" is a mix of national anthems (incl "Deutschland über Alles" and "La Marseillaise") brewed in one funny cocktail full of free-jazz and humor.

CARLA BLEY Movies Reviews

No CARLA BLEY movie reviews posted yet.

CARLA BLEY Shouts

Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Echoes and Other Fusion
MIKE STERN
Buy this album from MMA partners
No Excuse RnB
JOO KRAUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Four Elements Post-Fusion Contemporary
JACOB KARLZON
Buy this album from MMA partners
Maetrix Progressive Big Band
TRONDHEIM JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Love in Outer Space
KRONOS QUARTET
js· 23 hours ago
Jacob Karlzon - Four Elements - Air
JACOB KARLZON
js· 1 day ago
Onibaba
TRIPLICITY
js· 4 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us