Artist picture of Carla Bley

Carla Bley

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Artist's Top Tracks

Lawns Carla Bley 07:04
The Ballad Of The Fallen (Folk Song From El Salvador) Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Sharon Freeman 04:19
Night-Glo Carla Bley, Steve Swallow 06:42
More Brahms Carla Bley 07:29
Dining Alone Carla Bley 04:32
Útviklingssang Carla Bley 09:18
Healing Power Carla Bley 06:22
India Song Kip Hanrahan 04:16
Útviklingssang Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Andy Sheppard 07:55
The Girl Who Cried Champagne Carla Bley 06:06

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Els Segadors
The Ballad Of The Fallen (Folk Song From El Salvador)
If You Want To Write Me
Grandola Vila Morena

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Biography

Born Lovella May Borg in Oakland, California on May 11, 1936, Carla Bley was a jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader who had success as a solo artist and with ensembles for many decades. Born into a musical family, she learned to play piano as a child and at the age of 17, moved to New York where she met and later married Canadian jazz pianist Paul Bley. She began writing her own songs in the late 1950s, which were recorded by her husband as well as other jazz musicians including George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre. Carl Bley later played a role in the formation of the Jazz Composers Guild in 1964. She was co-leader of the Jazz Composers Orchestra, who released their debut album, Communication, in 1966. Several albums followed over the next nine years including Escalator over the Hill (1971), Relativity Suite (1973) and Echoes of Prayer (1975). She collaborated with other jazz musicians – including Michael Mantler and Charlie Haden – as well as rock musicians such as Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, and Robert Wyatt. Carla Bley’s first solo album, Tropic Appetites, was released in 1974 and was followed by acclaimed albums including Dinner Music (1977), Social Studies (1981), and Fleur Carnivore (1989). Carla Bley formed her own big band and recorded several albums including The Very Big Carla Bley Band (1991), Big Band Theory (1993), and The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church (1996). Three of Carla Bley’s later albums hit Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart: 2010’s Carla’s Christmas Carols with bassist Steve Swallow and the Partyka Brass Quintet (number 16), 2013’s Trios with Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow (number 19), and 2016’s Andando El Tiempo with Sheppard and Swallow (number 14). Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018, Carla Bley continued to perform and record, releasing her final album, Life Goes On, in 2020. She died on October 17, 2023, at the age of 87. Over the course of her career, she received many awards and nominations including a Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition in 1972, the German Jazz Trophy for A Life for Jazz (2009), and an NEA Jazz Masters Award in 2015. Carla Bley received two Grammy Award nominations with for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Looking for America (2003) and Appearing Nightly (2008).