This new piece by Carla Bley – legendary American composer, pianist and arranger
– is dedicated to the songs of Christmas season. Created in 2008, the project was originally commissioned by Michael Kaufmann for the Essen Philharmonie. Subsequently, this extraordinary composition was recorded in France and Germany and published by WATT and ECM Records.
Along with Carla Bley herself, the repertoire of twelve Christmas songs is performed by Steve Swallow and the Partyka Brass Quintet, led by the well-known American trombonist/tubist Ed Partyka, who is based in Europe. “Carla Bley Christmas Carols” makes a great choice for jazz aficionados, but is also appealing to general audiences. In this work, Carla Bley has achieved a perfect balance between tradition and innovation. Besides traditional songs like O Tannenbaum and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, there are popular melodies like Jingle Bells, The Christmas Song, King Christmas Bells, Away In A Manger, O Holy Night, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and Joy To The World. Carla’s own compositions Hell’s Bells and Jesus Maria are also featured. The sound of bells, celesta, and chimes brings us the spirit of Christmas and the winter holiday season. Come, and fall into the world of wonderful jazz!
Carla Bley’s variations exude intelligence, playful whimsy, and thoughtful reverence – everything that great holiday music should be. What an album! – Carol Swanson
The arrangements are creative masterpieces – at once lyrical
and humorous – with rich, unexpected chord voicings that will reward serious listeners without alienating the mainstream. – Christopher Johnson
This is a new classic every home should have. – ECM Records
More about Carla Bley’s life and work you can find here: http://www.wattxtrawatt.com/biocarlabooking.htm