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Long-revered as one of the most individual jazz composers of our time, Carla Bley’s meticulously crafted music has absorbed generations of listeners since she emerged during the Sixties.
Her work for larger ensembles – mostly her own groups, but also Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra – has been acclaimed over the decades, but in the past 20 years she’s steered towards the intimate setting of her trio with long-term associates, British saxophonist Andy Sheppard, and master bassist Steve Swallow.
The interaction between Sheppard’s eloquently serpentine soloing, Swallow’s imaginatively structured grooves and Bley’s distinctively quirky and deceptively simple piano lines, combines to form one of the most engaging trios in today’s jazz – all fired by the leader’s wholly personal compositions, resonant of Ellington, Monk and Kurt Weill, but with a resolute musicality and wit that is entirely Carla Bley.
Their latest album, Trios, is on the ECM label.