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Carla Bley

Carla Bley (née Borg, born May 11, 1936) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and bandleader.
The Musical Genius of Carla Bley: A Deep Dive into her Life and Work
If you're a fan of jazz music, you must have heard of Carla Bley— a musical genius who has contributed significantly to the genre over the last six decades. She is one of those rare artists who has consistently changed the face of jazz while staying true to her roots. Her work has earned her critical acclaim and numerous awards, yet she remains an enigmatic figure to many. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into Carla Bley's life, work, and the impact she's had on the world of jazz.
Carla Bley's musical journey began in the early 1960s. She began playing piano at a young age and toured with a few bands before settling in New York City. She soon met and started playing with some of the greatest names in jazz, such as Charles Mingus, Don Cherry, and Art Farmer. Her love for the genre couldn't be contained, and she went on to form the Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association, which produced a range of big band jazz albums.
Carla's music is known to be incredibly diverse, touching on everything from fusion to free jazz. Her style often seems quixotic and challenging to pin down, but that's what makes it all the more exciting. Some of her best works include Escalator Over the Hill, a genre-defying jazz opera, and Tropic Appetites, an album that expertly combines Caribbean rhythms with avant-garde jazz. She is also well known for her work with the Carla Bley Big Band, which enlisted some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, including Steve Swallow and Michael Mantler.
Carla Bley's performances have been both numerous and profound, often striking the perfect balance between playing music and creating an experience. One of her most memorable performances was at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1971, where she played pieces from her groundbreaking album, Escalator over the Hill, alongside jazz giants like Jack Bruce and Don Cherry. Another remarkable concert was the one she played at the Jazz Standard in New York City back in 2015, which was praised for being masterful, evocative, and insightful.
Over the years, Carla Bley has received numerous awards for her work, including the prestigious German Jazz Trophy, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Critics have often called her 'a major composer and orchestrator of American jazz,' and her music has drawn comparisons to the works of classical music masters such as George Gershwin and Johann Sebastian Bach.
Carla Bley is a rare artist who has continually challenged the boundaries of jazz music, and inspired countless artists over the years. Her music has been both quirky and profound, and her performances, memorable for anyone lucky enough to witness them. We hope this article has given you some insight into her work, her biographical story, and a few of her most significant songs. We highly recommend that you check out Carla Bley if you haven't already, as she is truly one of the brightest gems in the jazz world.


1 - Utviklingssang
2 - Dining Alone
3 - Funnybird Song
4 - Song Sung Long
5 - More Brahms
6 - End Of Vienna
7 - Fresh Impression
8 - Two Banana
9 - Five Banana
10 - Walking Batteriewoman
11 - Hotel Overture
12 - Baseball
13 - Life Goes On: Life Goes On
14 - Ad Infinitum
15 - Lawns
16 - Four
17 - One Banana
18 - Three Banana
19 - Why
20 - Birds Of Paradise
21 - Escalator Over The Hill
22 - One Banana More
23 - Song To Anything That Moves
24 - Sing Me Softly Of The Blues
25 - Businessmen
26 - Liver Of Life