September 2007


Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra featuring Carla Bley
at the Guelph Jazz Festival
September 8, 2007 River Run Centre Guelph
"We want to dedicate this concert to world peace." (Charlie Haden)
by David Fujino (photo of Carla Bley taken in June 2007 by Mike Colyer)
First of all, the Liberation Music Orchestra played music.

Sure, there was political content — "We Shall Overcome", "Amazing Grace", "Goin' Home", "This Is Not America" — and it resonated firmly with the audience, but I'm saying it was good (inspirational) music, first.

Like in "This Is Not America" — from the film, The Falcon and the Snowman — with its piano/tuba/drums/bass segment, which led to Tony Malaby's robust and climbing tenor solo — in which people shall find release — the music eventually concluded as a positive and cathartic, societal group playing of "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" ("The truth keeps marching on.")

And "Blue Anthem" — with its ensemble chord of impending doom, the trumpet theme that followed and Miguel Zenon's tart and thoughtful alto commentary — later left the pain and pleasure of a brass sustain to become Steve Cardenas' solo guitar that played out as a quiet hymn.

Which leads me to make this comparison.

I'm saying that the politics — and music — of the Liberation Music Orchestra were all about pause and reflect, while the previous evening's William Parker Ensemble: The Inside Stories of Curtis Mayfield was all about an incitement, albeit abstracted, to politicized action.

Maybe two opposite flips of the same coin?

In any case, the arrangements by Carla Bley always left spaces open for the soloists — and because all the soloists were so creative — their full inner life, in turn, irradiated the brilliant arrangements.

Carla Bley – June 2007
The whole evening was a triumph of form and content and political music.
The Liberation Music Orchestra
Charlie Haden, bass/leader; Carla Bley, piano
Seneca Black, trumpet; Steve Cardenas, guitar; Vincent Chancey, French horn
Chris Cheek, tenor sax; Joe Daley, tuba; Curtis Fowlkes, trombone; Tony Malaby, tenor sax
Michael Rodriguez, trumpet; Matt Wilson, drums; Miguel Zenon, alto sax
We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
• • • • • •
The Live Music Report
• •

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2007