31 October 2008

Enthusiasms (21) ~ Charlie Haden & The Liberation Music Orchestra

First things first, The Liberation Music Orchestra (LMO) often is presented as a project of bassist Charlie Haden, but it really is a partnership with pianist/arranger/conductor Carla Bley. The orchestra has, between 1969 and 2005, put out five albums on various labels (Impulse!, ECM, Verve, Blue Note). The personnel is inconstant but uniformly stellar. The music impressive throughout. There are those who complain that jazz ought to steer clear of politics (which as the name implies, this orchestra does not). But that is a partial, particular view of the music - think of Billie Holiday singing 'Strange Fruit' or Charles Mingus composing and performing 'Fables of Faubus' or Max Roach's 'Freedom Now Suite' or . . . well, you get the point.

If you are fortunate enough to be in Seattle or San Francisco or NYC over the next few days, don't miss the chance to to see the LMO. They are playing the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle on 31 October, the San Francisco Jazz Festival on 2 November and then are booked at the Blue Note in NYC from 4-9 November.

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