The multi-talented Carla Bley lifted more than a few sagging spirits as she passed through recession-gripped Britain last month [in 1982] with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. She has been described as ‘the most original pianist-composer since Monk’, and her latest album – Live! – with her own band is already proving one of 1982’s biggest success stories. In a rare moment of relaxation, Carla Bley offered Stan Britt an insight into her individual world of music. This interview originally appeared in The Wire 2 (Winter 1982/83), alongside a feature on Bley's influences and musical roots by Charles Fox.
Carla Bley wrote her first opera when she was eight. Charles Fox appraises her roots – and, along the way, discovers some intriguing musical influences. This article first appeared in The Wire 2 (Winter 1982/83), alongside Stan Britt's interview with Carla Bley.