A long way has come since the times when Carla Bley sold cigarettes at the Birdland jazz club, so that she could be near the musicians she admired. Her compositions were first heard in the 1960s, then came the arrangements for Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and, in 1975, the Carla Bley Band. The awards and distinctions, commissions and tours were abundant… between the exuberance of the big band and the more contained quartet, Carla's music shines in any formation she wishes to adopt. The brothers in arms frequently return, standing out among them the bassist Steve Swallow, since 1978.
The inspiration of the North-American composer, always spiced with generous doses of humor, may result from the chaotic traffic of a Mexican city and go through hidden gastronomic references in a theme devoted to a poorly served coffee. The originality is in the unexpected but incredibly contagious melodies as well as in the disperse use of the sonorities inherited from swing, R&B, Latin rhythms and fanfares.