Carla Bley on Escalator Over the Hill

ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL [1:29]

RUFFIN: Now, A Jazz Moment

Song to Anything that Moves

RUFFIN: IN 1971, COMPOSER CARLA BLEY HER FIRST ALBUM, A GROUNDBREAKING OPERA CALLED, ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL.

bley: I was writing a piece of music and a friend of mine, Paul Haines, was living in India and sent me a poem, and I just put in on the piano accidentally. And I was playing the piece I was working on, I looked at the words and the words just fit in, they just fit right in. And it was spooky. It was fantastic.

Why  

bley: Whatever didn’t fit, I soon made fit, and I wrote back and I said, “unbelievable thing just happened to me. I think it’s a sign that you and I write an opera together.” He said, “okay.” By the end when we recorded it, it was hours and hours long. Because stuff just kept coming out of me like fingernails or something. Had to be cut.

THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH 2015 NEA JAZZ MASTER CARLA BLEY WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

Excerpt of “Song to Anything That Moves” and “Why” composed and performed by Carla Bley from the album Escalator Over the Hill, used courtesy of ECM Records and by permission of Carla Bley. 

Carla Bley on Escalator Over the Hill