Carla Bley

From Academic Kids

Carla Bley, née Borg, (born May 11, 1938 in Oakland, California) is an American jazz composer, pianist and band leader.

An important figure in post bebop jazz, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera The Escalator Over the Hill (released as a triple LP set).

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, she moved to New York at seventeen and became a cigarette girl at Birdland, where she met the jazz pianist Paul Bley, whom she married in 1957. He encouraged her to start composing. The two later divorced, though he continued to play her compositions, as did Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell and Art Farmer.

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. Carla Bley co-led the Jazz Composers' Orchestra with Michael Mantler.

She has collaborated with a number of other artists, including Robert Wyatt and Nick Mason, whose 1981 solo album 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. She has frequently worked with her partner, the bassist Steve Swallow. Her arrangement of the music for Federico Fellini's appeared on Hal Willner's Nino Rota tribute record, Amarcord Nino Rota.

References

  • Ben Sidran, Talking Jazz: An Illustrated Oral History, Pomegranate Artbooks, 1992
  • Philippe Carles, André Clergeat, and Jean-Louis Comolli, Dictionnaire du jazz, Paris, 1994

External links


Template:Composer-stubde:Carla Bley

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