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Album Review

In a fanciful press release for this record, Carla Bley wrote that she wanted to make a record that would "put people in a mellow, sensual mood" as opposed to getting them all riled up as usual. She must have meant some of this ironically, for while Heavy Heart is a somewhat bright, light-minded album, there are plenty of dark undercurrents to be heard. For example, take the fascinating "Light or Dark," where a light, happy texture is undercut by Hiram Bullock's intruding dissonant guitar and Kenny Kirkland's discordant comping. Or the ominously titled "Ending It," with Gary Valente's abrasive trombone dominating everyone — or the dissonant, almost inaudible wind backings to Kirkland's big-hearted piano on "Starting Again." In any case, Bley's iconoclastic imagination and ear for unusual sonorities is definitely in gear writing for her ten-tet — and true to her word, a number like "Talking Hearts," an alleged romantic dialogue between Bullock's smooth guitar and Bley's sly synthesizer, is saunteringly attractive stuff. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 11 May 1938 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Post-bop jazz has produced only a few first-rate composers of larger forms; Carla Bley ranks high among them. Bley possesses an unusually wide compositional range; she combines an acquaintance with and love for jazz in all its forms with great talent and originality. Her music is a peculiarly individual type of hyper-modern jazz. Bley is capable of writing music of great drama and profound humor, often within the confines of the same piece. As an instrumentalist, she makes a fine composer; she plays...
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Heavy Heart, Carla Bley
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  • £4.74
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1984

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