USA, 1971, experimental big band / third stream / avant-garde jazz

Carla Bley & Paul HainesEscalator Over the Hill

I like self-indulgent music if it’s done well and the people know what they’re doing. I also don’t have the attention span of a goldfish, so this being long doesn’t bother me. This is basically avant jazz theater, so people who are into weird, quirky shit are going to like this. Don’t look for a beat here. Don’t look for anything you can hold onto, cuz it’s all slippery. It lacks internal meaning. And if you’re falling asleep while listening, don’t worry: the vocalist will caterwaul at you, telling you to stay awaaaake. McLaughlin plays guitar on this one, Jack Bruce of Cream sings the male lead, and Linda Ronstadt has the female lead. The libretto is Haines’ poetry in all its glorious pretension.

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