Great Britain / USA
For Carla Borg, the daughter of an Oakland organist, music began at church, until she met the pianist Paul Bley at another holy place, the legendary Birdland Club in New York. She married him in 1959. The marriage was short but directional: from then on, she wrote her own pieces, for example for Jimmy Guiffre and Art Farmer. In 1964, she founded the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra with Michael Mantler, presented the opera “Escalator Over The Hill” in the early 70ies, arranged for Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra and has added at least 500 compositions to the song catalogue for jazz. A rather bustling life, considering that the 1938 born pianist has also been leading her own formations for decades, one of which since the early 90ies: together with the jazz bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard she created a trio which is wonderfully harmonious and shares musical humour and spirit. “Carla Bley” Wolfgang Sandner wrote in the FAZ (German newspaper) in commemoration of her 70th birthday “is the most gigantic chameleon known in jazz. And a gigantic irritation.” This means you need to be prepared, follow the turns in the compositions and allow yourself to be led onto slippery ground—for which you will be rewarded with their stunning joy of playing and surprising ideas.