298

Carla Bley: The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu

By

Sign in to view read count
Carla Bley: The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu Is Carla Bley a Naive artist? The commercial exploitation of her works notwithstanding, one finds, in the simplicity and recurrence of themes; progressions and forms; and idiosyncratic style—as well as in the peculiar ponderous feel to much of her compositions, self-trained, instinctive approach to music-making and libertarian personality—many of the same features found in Naive artistry.

While the unicity and originality of her music and longevity in a particularly tough milieu are to be applauded, broader audiences remain somewhat detached from her endeavors, kept afar by a seemingly uninterested attitude she has cultivated towards professional, career-building decisions. The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu, released on her boutique label, serves as a good example. After a lukewarm first encounter impressed by the excessive cocktail of quirky, "humoristic" song titles, graphics, liner notes and photos, one fortunately finds enough appealing music to gingerly overturn the unappetizing faux pas.

A sensitive arranger and bandleader with limited instrumental skills, Bley more than willingly yields the floor to fellow conspirators—trumpeter Paolo Fresu, reedman Andy Sheppard and co-producer/bassist Steve Swallow—when the time comes to ruffle an otherwise relaxed set (drummer Billy Drummond is here in a merely supportive role). On "The Banana Quintet," the group's graceful sway through the suite's six sections attest of the sidemen's intimate knowledge and profound respect for Bley's truly personal compositional style and pacing.

Much like reactions towards Naive artworks, one either loves or hates Carla Bley's music. That being said, those that do support her diverse projects will probably find enjoyment in this hour of music.


Track Listing: The Banana Quintet: One Banana, Two Banana, Three Banana, Four, Five Banana, One Banana More; Liver of Life; Death of Superman/Dream Sequence #1--Flying; Ad Infinitum.

Personnel: Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn; Andy Sheppard: soprano and tenor saxophones; Carla Bley: piano; Steve Swallow: bass; Billy Drummond: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Watt/ECM | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Taking Flight" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Flight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!