Carla Bley & Her Remarkable Big Band: Appearing Nightly At The Black Orchid


Appearing Nightly At The Black Orchid


Carla Bley & Her Remarkable Big Band


Appearing Nightly (ECM B0011815-02)

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Carla Bley (piano),

Earl Gardner, Lew Soloff, Giampaolo Casati, Florian Esch (trumpets), Beppe Calamosca, Cary Valente, Gigi Grata, Richard Henry (trombones), Roger Jannotta (soprano & alto saxes, flute), Wolfgang Puschnig (alto sax, flute), Andy Sheppard, Christophe Panzani (tenor saxes), Julian Arguelles (baritone sax), Karen Mantler (organ), Steve Swallow (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)


Composed by Carla Bley


Recorded: The New Morning, Paris, France, July 17-18, 2006


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

I used to have this theory about Carla Bley's hair. It was formulated right around the time that her first Very Big Band record came out. To wit: Bley's "omni-directional" hairstyle was a direct result of the sheer force emanating from her horn section. Seriously, just look at the giant wall 'o brass her band is packin': four trumpets, four trombones, five saxes. It's enough to make anybody's coif go all Don King.

Seriously though, there's a very good reason that the horns are putting out a drastic amount of air, as Bley's compositions really put them through their paces. "Appearing Nightly" starts with a searching piano interlude that steps up a notch to Steve Swallow's and Billy Drummond's snappy bridge section that in turn introduces the rising horn section. Over the next 20-something minutes, many solos are taken (trumpet, sax, trombone) and all manner of side themes are injected. When the horns hit their peak, you'll wish you had brought along a fresh bottle of hair jell.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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