CARLA BLEY — Trios (review)

CARLA BLEY — Trios album cover Album · 2013 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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