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Carla Bley was waitressing at jazz clubs in Manhattan to be close to the music and writing her off-beat compositions at the same time. When Gary Burton was looking for new material, he could not afford to pay royalties or license fees to composers. Carla's music was becoming known and Burton used it to create a masterpiece. Vox Humana is an affecting anthem to the working class in a sad but unsentimental progression of triads (I like to use 6ths and diminished chords), then triumphing in a Major key theme. Too bad she's not more appreciated in the U.S.
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This c.d best exemplifies the lyrically beautiful work of Carla Bley. The title track personifies beauty. The choice of chords that Carla uses on this song are so interwoven harmoniously...very soulful and bluesy, but also with seriously expressive classical overtones too. Very dreamy indeed in most places but with a few songs that will cause you to wake up as well. Gary Burton plays wonderfully as usual...Mick Goodrick and Pat Metheny lay some artistic guitarwork. Everything is perfect on this c.d.
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This is a classic album, and really deserves to be reviewed, to spread the word. It features the compositions of Carla Bley - Burton was one of the musicians who early on both recognized her talents and wanted to do her music justice. It's played by Burton on vibes, Steve Swallow on bass, the veteran Bob Moses on drums, another veteran Mick Goodrich on guitar, and the young emerging talent Pat Metheny also on guitar. It is a classic. High energy, fluid through the complex changes. It is good fun to hear Metheny, sinking his considerable teeth into early solos, and ably playing a supporting role. But the real treat is the ensemble as a whole, a true collaboration of virtuosos, melding their talents to present the works of Carla Bley with the energy and sparkle they deserve. Like bells in harmony, ringing guitars and vibes, on a magic carpet of shimmering rhythm. This is music that can make a Sunday winter morning sparkle over a cup of coffee, or energize an after dinner respite...