Personnel: Carla Bley (piano, organ, glockenspiel); Steve Slagle (soprano & alto saxophones, flute); Tony Dagradi (tenor saxophone); Michael Mantler (trumpet); Gary Valente (trombone); Earl McIntyre (bass trombone, tuba); Vincent Chancey (French horn); Arturo O'Farrill (piano, organ); Steve Swallow (bass); D. Sharpe (drums).
Recorded live at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, California from August 19-21, 1981.
This is a live set recorded in 1981 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Much of this same band also recorded the half-live I HATE TO SING album at the same venue a few years later. Bley's music always works well in front of a live audience, with it's strutting loopy gusto and emotionally resonant dramatics. Her six compositions touch on all of her then major musical interests, making this a very good overview for the uninitiated.
"Blunt Object" is raucous and relentless. "The Lord Is Listening to Ya, Hallelujah!" draws upon Bley's childhood musical upbringing as the daughter of a church musician. "Time and Us" evokes a Latin American bearing with its melodic figures, as filtered through Bley's own harmonic sensibilities. The 10-piece band, with six horn players, is rich with inventive soloists who use Bley's compositions as a wonderful springboard for further exploration.