Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Carla Bley, the pianist, composer, bandleader, and pioneer of the free jazz motion, has died from problems of mind most cancers, The New York Occasions experiences, citing the musician’s companion of greater than 30 years, bassist Steve Swallow. Bley was 87 years outdated.

Bley was born Lovella Could Borg in Oakland, California. She moved to New York within the Fifties, working as a cigarette vendor on the famed Birdland jazz membership earlier than assembly and marrying jazz pianist Paul Bley. The couple toured collectively and she or he started composing unique works, and Paul Bley’s 1964 album Barrage consisted totally of Carla’s compositions. A number of years later, in 1967, the Bleys divorced.

Bley launched her finest identified work, the jazz opera Escalator Over the Hill, in 1971. It concerned dozens of musicians, together with Linda Ronstadt, Jack Bruce, and Charlie Haden. Past her personal albums as a bandleader, she additionally labored intently with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason on his 1981 solo debut album, Nick Mason’s Fictious Sports activities, writing and co-producing all of its tracks.

Past her work as a musician, Bley based a number of file labels, JCOA Information and the ECM-distributed Watt, releasing work by Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, and others. She and Michael Mantler additionally established the nonprofit New Music Distribution Service, which helped join JCOA, ECM, and different labels to bigger audiences. It remained in operation from 1972 to 1990.

Carla Bley was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship for music composition in 1972. A long time later, in 2015, she was acknowledged as a Nationwide Endowment for the Arts Jazz Grasp. Bley launched the ultimate album of her lifetime—Life Goes On, a collaboration with Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow—in 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *