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Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: May 11, 1938

Carla Bley was born in Oakland, California in 1936. Her father Emil Borg, a piano teacher and church organist, began giving her music lessons when she was three years old and she was soon playing at church functions. But her musical education ended at the age of eight. Her formal education stopped entirely when she dropped out of high school after completing the tenth grade.

During her adolescence Carla was drawn to jazz and moved to New York City to be closer to the musicians she admired. She resumed her musical education by working as a cigarette girl at the notorious Birdland jazz club, where she was able to hear the greatest jazz musicians of the day. She met pianist Paul Bley and eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where Paul and his quartet had a steady gig at the Hillcrest Club. She began to write music. When saxophonist Ornette Coleman came on the scene in the mid-fifties, Paul Bley immediately hired him and Carla was exposed nightly to ‘free’ playing, a powerful influence that was to affect her writing for many years....
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Music

Featured recording “Trios”

Trios

ECM Records
2013
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    Trios

    ECM Records
    2014
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    Trios

    ECM Records
    2013
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    Carla's Christmas Carols

    Watt/ECM
    2009
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    Carla Bley Big Band: Appearing Nightly

    Watt/ECM
    2008
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    Appearing Nightly

    ECM Records
    2008
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    The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu

    ECM Records
    2008
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    The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu

    Watt/ECM
    2007
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