Liberation Music Orchestra came together in 1969 under the direction of Charlie Haden, inspired by songs of the Spanish Civil War, playing music arranged by Carla Bley in protest at the American war in Vietnam. This recording is of a concert in 2004 at the Jazz in Marciac festival in southwest France. The list of songs might appear elegiac but they’re full of fire and celebration – America The Beautiful (Traditional), Throughout (Bill Frisell), Amazing Grace (Traditional), This Is Not America (Pat Metheny), Going Home (Traditional), Adagio (Samuel Barber). They’re performing tonight at the Cadogan Hall, sadly without Charlie Haden, but very much in his name. I think there’ll be a lot of love for Charlie, and for Carla, and maybe too there’ll be some in memory of America.
To celebrate Carla Bley‘s appearance tonight at the Wigmore Hall as part of the London Jazz Festival here’s a recording from 30 years ago when the LJF was known as the Camden Jazz Festival. The Lord Is Listenin’ To Ya, Hallelujah! was written as a tongue-in-cheek gospel showcase for Gary Valente’s gloriously raucous trombone. This performance was at the Roundhouse and I was in the audience that night with a big smile on my face. I’d been a huge fan ever since I first heard Escalator Over The Hill as a teenager and wanted to run away from home to join Carla’s circus. Praise the Lord for Carla Bley!
This is a short trailer for the film Sounds And Silence from 2009. It is subtitled Travels With Manfred Eicher and it tells the story of his record label, Editions of Contemporary Music, following him over five years as he records musicians around the world. I discovered it thanks to Richard Williams via his very welcome new blog, The Blue Moment where he’s written about the exhibition ECM: A Cultural Archaeology, until recently at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Continue reading “Sounds And Silence”