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5-10 days
Jazz, Contemporary
September 9, 2013

Format: Compact Disc



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'Trios' is one of the outstanding jazz albums of the season and marks the first time that a Carla Bley album has appeared on ECM itself (rather than the ECM-distributed WATT label, which has been her primary platform for 40 years). Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow revisit classic Bley compositions in an exceptional album recorded in Lugano in 2012 by Manfred Eicher.

Included on 'Trios' are spirited new versions of "Utviklingssang" and "Vashkar", as well as the suites "Les Trois Lagons", "Wildlife" and "The Girl Who Cried Champagne". Carla's robust tunes are vividly conveyed, all members solo compellingly, and the trio has never sounded better.

"Utviklingssang" ("Development Song"), penned initially for a large band, made its first appearance on 'Social Studies' (1981), and was reprised for her 'Duets' album with Steve Swallow (1988) and for 2000's 4x4. "Vashkar", one of Carla's most popular songs, is an early 1960s piece that has been recorded by Paul Bley, Tony Williams, Gary Burton, Bobby Naughton and Cindy Blackman amongst others. Commissioned by the Grenoble Jazz Festival in 1996, "Les Trois Lagons", based on cutouts by Henri Matisse, was recorded on 4x4. "Wildlife" was previously heard on 1985's Night-Glo, while "The Girl Who Cried Champagne" has been recorded twice by Carla, first on Sextet, and then in an extended version on the live big band session from the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Fleur Carnivore.

Personnel: Carla Bley (piano), Andy Sheppard (tenor and soprano saxophones), Steve Swallow (bass)

Press Quotes

(4 stars) Bley's trio of piano, sax and bass guitar fits her agile, gently melancholic and slightly self-mocking idiom to a T...an endearing blend of sophistication and whimsy.

The Daily Telegraph, (Ivan Hewitt), September 21, 2013

(4 stars) With producer Manfred Eicher at the studio controls, it's a match made in chamber jazz heaven.

BBC Music Magazine, (Garry Booth), November 2013

(4 stars) This album of Bley originals is revealing of her range and it takes its place among her finest work...reveals what an exquisite saxophonist Sheppard is and how he has developed a remarkable understanding of both Bley the pianist and Bley the composer.

Jazzwise, (Stuart Nicholson), November 2013

(4 stars) This is Bley's best album since Fancy Chamber Music: the intimacy suits, and there's a certain grandeur even in the reduced scale, the shrinking of gesture and attitude to abstract portraiture.

Marlbank, (Stephen Graham), August 29, 2013

Utviklingssang is taken very slowly, with Sheppard exhaling the lovely tune in the tenor's upper register, while the saxophonist hovers between a swing-band swagger and fast bebop on the opening of Les Trois Lagons; Wildlife stretches from an Ellingtonian melody to a trance-like, cyclical finale;, and there's a Jobim-like lilt to The Girl Who Cried Champagne.

The Guardian, (John Fordham), September 13, 2013

It's been a while since a new album by Carla Bley felt like an event. While Trios does not represent any great departure from her usual strategies, there's a purity of purpose here that, coupled with Manfred Eicher's uncluttered production, results in a cool, clear aesthetic statement that is very effective.

The Independent On Sunday, (Phil Johnson), September 9, 2013

Three supremely sensitive, responsive musicians - Swallow nimbly picking out his uniquely deft and sonorous bass-guitar sound, Sheppard breathing intense warmth and humanity into everything he plays, Bley herself delicate and understated, yet subtly controlling the trio sound.

LondonJazzNews, (Chris Parker), October 1, 2013

Without muss or fuss, Bley, Swallow and Sheppard have, with Trios, created that most perfect of chamber records, filled with shrewd surprises and a delicate dramaturgy that reveals itself further with each and every listen.

All About Jazz, (John Kelman), September 13, 2013

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number 3724551
Barcode 0602537245512
Number of items 1
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 116g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 143mm x 11mm x 128mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Utviklingssang 07:55
2. Vashkar 07:22
3. Les Trois Lagons (d'apres Henri Matisse) 14:59
4. Wildlife 11:34
5. The Girl Who Cried Champagne 14:24