Lawns (Carla Bley)


Composer : Carla Bley


  • Instrumental


  • Standard
  • Matched Reciprocal


  • Audio mp3



Carla Bley

A luminous composition by pianist/composer Carla Bley, Lawns is a hypnotic ballad.
Based on the same bass riff throughout the piece. Each finger played with the left hand is held for the entire measure, forming a harmonic atmosphere.

The initial harmony is in D major but travels throughout the piece. The form is quite complex: a first A of 16 bars then an A’ of 12 bars plus a coda of 8 bars. Same structure for the solos.
The hypnotic character of the piece is reinforced by the rhythmic repetitiveness of the melody and the bass line. Note that no note is played with both hands simultaneously. To the first two notes of the melody right hand answer the three bass notes.

This piece, as well as many others, confirms that Carla Bley is one of the great jazz composers of the 20th century.
Apart from the very zen versions of the Carla Bley trio (with Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard) you will also find superb more bluesy and energetic versions of the John Scofield trio (with the same Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart).


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Lawns (Carla Bley)