Carla Bley Big Band
Andy Sheppard, Billy Drummond, Carla Bley, Christophe Panzani, Ciampaolo Casati, Earl Gardner, Ernie Hammes, Gary Valente, Gigi Grata, Giuseppe Calamosca, Julian Arguelles, Karen Mantler, Lew Soloff, Marcio Doctor, Richard Henry, Roger Jannotta, Steve Swallow, Wolfgang Puschnig.
Fri 12 July 2002 22:15 - 23:30 Roof Terrace
Composers who compose long, coherent works are pretty rare in the world of jazz, where improvisations on songs that initially last no longer than three minutes are standard. In the past there were great men like Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. Nowadays there are - and that is a favorable development - mostly women that call the shots in this field. It is a great given that two of the most talented composers are going to perform at the festival. The youthful Maria Schneider will conduct works by Miles Davis and Gil Evans, and it is understood that the middle aged Carla Bley and her 17-headed orchestra will only play new compositions. Bley, who was taught by her father, moved to New York in the mid-50s, where she sold cigarettes in a bar and played some piano when the opportunity was there. She married pianist Paul Bley and soon started composing for him. In the 60s, now married to trumpet player/composer Michael Mantler, she founded the Jazz Composers Orchestra and also began to compose music for the Liberation Music Orchestra of bass player Charlie Haden. She definitively marked her name down on the map of jazz with the opera Escalator Over the Hill. Drama and humor, usually within the scope of one single piece, are the components that define Bleys' work. The last couple of years she predominantly co-operates with her new partner for life, Steve Swallow, the absolutely original bass player with whom she plays heavenly, in all possible line-ups.