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Carla Bley - Musique Mecanique CD (album) cover


Carla Bley


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 10 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is the album that made me a fan of Carla Bley's music. It was a combination of the adventurous compositions, and her ability to make me laugh with just musical notes that blew me away.

The music on this album falls somewhere in between big band and fusion, with an emphasis on horns. Terry Adams (NRBQ) on piano and Eugene Chadbourne on guitars add a bit of rock to the mix.

440 begins the album, with the band warming up, and then jamming in (you guessed it) the key of A. The piece bears a slight resemblance to The Piano Lesson on the later "I Hate To Sing" album, and it really turns into some fine soloing.

On Jesus Maria And Other Spanish Strains, the band goes through a number of Spanish themes. The best part is where Gary Windo imitates a childs voices (I think he's siging through the mouthpiece of his sax or clarinet, but I can't be sure).

The greatest tracks are the Musique Mecanique trio. The first starts with random tones and noises, and builds, machine-like into a frenzy. Bley's toy piano, her daughter karen mantler's glockenspiel, and Chadbourne's walkie-talkie noises help make this song amazing.

The absolute best song, and still my favorite Bley tune ever is the third part, a lumbering heavy track, which features the band imitating a skipping record (To you kids out there, a record is a vinyl disk, with music cut into spiral grooves. When a piece of dust got caught in a groove, the needle that turned the grooves into sound could get bumped back one groove, causing a weird skipping rhythmic sound). It must be heard.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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