Carla Bley & Steve Swallow

Carla Bley, Steve Swallow & The Art of Jazz Orchestra
Report by Paul J. Youngman with photo by Mike Colyer
June, 2007

The composition of the Art of Jazz Orchestra fluctuates but has many consistencies. It is always directed by a great orchestra leader, last year it was John McLeod, this time out the wonderful Carla Bley did a superb job. Terry Clarke, Jane Bunnett and Don Thompson usually play in the orchestra with an ‘A-list’ of local Canadian performers. The orchestra consistently has great guest artists, this year’s Art of Jazz Orchestra guests included Steve Swallow on electric bass, Howard Johnson on baritone saxophone and George Garzone on tenor saxophone. There was also a tremendous lead trombone player, Gary Valente, from Carla Bley’s big band who took many exciting breaks. The orchestra always has a big grand sound, and they always have great arrangements. They always feature excellent soloists and high-energy playing by the orchestra as a collective. This performance was no exception. Read Article