Wednesday, September 12, 2007

People Get Ready - Guelph Jazz Festival + Colloquium 2007: Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra featuring Carla Bley

Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra featuring Carla Bley @ River Run Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Charlie Haden: bass
Carla Bley: piano, arrangements
Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone
Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone
Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone
Michael Rodriguez: trumpet
Seneca Black: trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes: trombone
Vincent Chancey: french horn
Joe Daley: tuba
Steve Cardenas: guitar
Matt Wilson: drums

The Liberation Music Orchestra is one of the few bands that gives me chills just stepping out onto the stage. If you love this music and know the history of the players assembling before your eyes the goosebumps are involuntary. When you add the anticipation of the stirring patriotic and protest music - music motivated by a love of the human spirit and a sadness for the ways that spirit continues to be assaulted by current political realities - this becomes a revival meeting for the soul.

This live experience has ignited an intense curiosity for the music and life of Carla Bley. Carla Bley as the arranger of this exquisitely melodic, beautiful music. Carla Bley as pianist. Carla Bley as an unbelievable presence on stage with these deeply talented players. It's time to comb the vinyl stores for every scrap of music this woman has brought into being. It's hard to imagine a more under-celebrated visionary.

Haden drew heavily from his remarkable Not In Our Name material with knockout renditions of "This Is Not America," the "America the Beautiful (Medley)" and "Amazing Grace" along with the ensemble's classic blues take on "We Shall Overcome" that marked their beginnings almost forty years ago. This is music with deep roots and even deeper convictions.

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