Personnel: Carla Bley (vocals, tenor saxophone, piano, organ); Carlos Ward (alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Michael Mantler (trumpet); Roswell Rudd (trombone); Bob Stewart (tuba); Richard Tee (acoustic & electric pianos); Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree (guitar); Gordon Edwards (bass); Steve Gadd (drums).
Recorded at Grog Kill Studio, Willow, New York from July-September 1976.
After the enormous and layered ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL and a further collaboration with lyricist Paul Haines, Carla Bley simplified things on the glorious DINNER MUSIC. Her studio players--Richard Tee, Eric Gale, Gordon Edwards, and Steve Gadd--recorded under the name of Stuff. Bley amended the ensemble with four of her regular horn players, who appear in gorgeous configurations underscoring the humor ("Funnybird Song") and beauty ("A New Hymn") of her compositions.
They also revisit "Ida Lupino," first recorded by Bley's then-husband, Paul Bley, in the early '60s. The song was later given lyrics and recorded by NRBQ on their late '60s debut. Bley is that rare composer whose writing is genuinely good humored music referencing anything outside the scope of music. Since humor is a key in getting to know anyone, all that wish to become acquainted with Bley's music are advised to begin with this album.