Pianist Carla Bley (1936) is a Grande Dame of jazz. Not only due to her age, but also thanks to her colossal track record as a composer and bandleader. When she was a teenager, a career as a roller skater beckoned but after meeting her first husband Paul Bley at jazz club Birdland, she began to write her own jazz compositions. In 1964, she and her second husband Michael Mantler founded the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra and the progressive record label JCOA. A creative highlight was the avant-garde project Escalator Over The Hill (1968/1971), a milestone in the history of jazz. Bley started playing the piano at an early age but in recent years she is placing more emphasis than ever on this particular skill. You can hear this clearly on the impressive albums Trios (2013) and Andando el Tiempo (2016), which she recorded on the ECM label with her life partner, bassist Steve Swallow (1940) and another long-standing band member, the Brit Andy Sheppard (1957), on saxophone.