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The Girl Who Cried Champagne
on 20 October 2013
The first time Carla Bley has ever appeared on ECM per se and been produced, a major press promotion, a beautifully packaged recording, three outstanding musicians. What is not to like? Well, while many will love this (as the three brief reviews to date attest), for all the individuals moments of beauty, I can't help feeling slightly short-changed. Opener "Utviklingssang" is the highlight. Sympathetic interplay all round and, in particular, an exquisite performance from Sheppard left me hoping that the remainder would reach equally giddy heights. Sadly, the remaining four tracks did not. Increasingly I wished that Swallow played a double bass as opposed to electric and I yearned for less restraint, more variety and greater daring. "The concluding "The Girl Who Cried Champagne" is, on its own terms, a perfectly pleasant number (in three parts)but which desperately cries out for the bossa nova feel and richness of textures of the original which appears on "Fleur Carnivore." In short, fans of any of Bley, Sheppard and Swallow should investigate "Trios" but I would be interested to see what others think...