Trios cover

Despite a string of recordings on the sister WATT label, Trios marked the first leader date for pianist and composer Carla Bley on ECM. Her bandmates, Steve Swallow (electric bass) and Andy Sheppard (saxophones), leverage countless hours of collaboration and life experience to freshen up such classics as “Vashkar” and the three-part suite “Wildlife,” which proves Bley’s unwavering panache for melody and atmosphere. Another tripartite offering, “The Girl Who Cried Champagne,” closes the set with grooves galore, growing more expansive by the moment. The sheer amount of freedom explored within parameters makes this effort a joy to behold.

Tyran Grillo

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