CD Songs with Legs (CD 977359), Audio Other
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Songs with Legs

  • 1. Real Life Hits
    2. Lord Is Listenin' to Ya, Hallelujah!, The - (studio)
    3. Chicken
    4. Misterioso
    5. Wrong Key Donkey
    6. Crazy with You
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 527069

  • Credits
    ProducerCarla Bley; Steve Swallow
    EngineerBill Strode

    /Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow.
    Personnel: Carla Bley (piano); Andy Sheppard (soprano & tenor saxophones); Steve Swallow (bass).
    Recorded live in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Turkey and England in May 1994.
    SONGS WITH LEGS was recorded live in Europe in '94 and, though billed collectively, is ostensibly the work of Carla Bley's. Saxophonist Andy Sheppard has been on all of Bley's big band recordings since the late 80's; bass guitarist Steve Swallow has been a regular Bley collaborator for decades. As with all of Bley's work, LEGS is characterized by the writing and arranging--and by the springboards that both provide for the well-chosen soloists.
    Five of the six compositions are Bley's, with the remaining piece being her arrangement of Monk's "Misterioso." At this point in her career, Bley was not only able to draw from her own impressive repertoire but also to reconfigure and reconstruct any of those works as she saw fit. Her strength as a pianist has grown along with her skills as a writer and arranger. The songs themselves always take the fore, and all of the soloing feels like a tidy reconsideration of the music's themes--like finding secret pockets in a new pair of pants.

  • Critic Reviews
    Q (5/95, p.100) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Because there's less of an orchestral toolbox to work with, Bley forgoes genre parody, stripping down to a slightly-awry straightahead jazz, spotlighting a virtuosic intimacy."
    Down Beat (10-95, pp.48-50) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...Bley's uncommon ability as a writer is shown to fine result....You can almost hear Bley, Swallow and Sheppard smile through their playing."
    JazzTimes (10/95, p.87) - "...some brilliant moments of interplay and improvisation....Wonderful music by a most unconventional piano trio."
    New York Times (Publisher) (7/30/95) - "...must be three of the most deliberate players in contemporary jazz. Each chooses notes with such care and attention to tonal and melodic detail that listening to them becomes a lesson in improvisatory conciseness....[they] achieve an intimacy that never loses the element of risk..."
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