Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Recorded in 1987, Sextet belongs with Heavy Heart and Night-Glo as a radical departure for Bley from her big bands' frequent high-art mix of satire and experimentation. Here, she's emphasizing relaxed grooves, almost strai... more »
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Recorded in 1987, Sextet belongs with Heavy Heart and Night-Glo as a radical departure for Bley from her big bands' frequent high-art mix of satire and experimentation. Here, she's emphasizing relaxed grooves, almost straight-ahead melodies, and a lush carpet of electronic sounds. If Erik Satie has always been a key inspiration for Bley, this is her equivalent to his "furniture music," intended as functional, comfortable, and lightly entertaining. It's all of that, with Bley's Hammond B-3 creating warm grooves in a polished band of Hiram Bullock on guitar, Larry Willis on piano, Victor Lewis on drums, Don Alias on percussion, and Steve Swallow on bass. The slow "Lawns" has beautiful piano playing from Willis, while "Healing Power" is restrained, deeply felt gospel. This may aspire to be background music, but it has some surprising depths that take time to reveal themselves. --Stuart Broomer
Carla Strips Down
Mortrude Sluurp | Poughkeepsie, NY | 01/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sextet represents the ultimate stripping down of Carla's bands - to only rhythm instruments. As a result, the tone is very different from her larger ensembles, but she gets the most out of her sidemen. The tunes are vintage Bley. For example, Lawns is an achingly beautiful piece with a haunting solo by Larry (Lawns) Willis. Hiram Bullock gets to strut his stuff on the intense and muscular Healing Power, a tune which was a treat to see performed live.Each band member gets an opportunity to shine, Carla on "The Girl Who Cried Champagne" (she gets even more room on the companion album, Steve Swallow's "Carla"); Steve Swallow on "Brooklyn Bridge," etc.While very different than her larger ensembles, the sextet produces engaging and compelling music that will stay with you a long time."
Chris Holmes | Corfu, Greece | 04/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a measure of the caliber of Bley's listenership that there's nothing I can add to the previous succinct reviews: Larry Willis' rendering of 'Lawns' is indeed sublime and I'm trying not to overly flog it and lose the magic. Hiram Bullock rips into his guitar solos with biting phrases that Eric Gale would recognise, and such rich production values you'd imagine a Larry Carlton clone with actual fire in his belly. Bley herself delivers her usual magic and surprises, but the album's joy is the platform it gives each member of the band. Vaut l'attention."