May 1997

Carla Bley Band
I Hate To Sing
Watt

Of all Bley reissue wishes, this would not have been on my list; however, here it is. There's a comic, antic quality afoot here-and isn't that what one expects from Bley in regular doses? The dose is over the top here, particularly on the title track. Certain band members, including the boss, take turns letting the listener know in no uncertain terms why they are instrumentalists and not singers. Dissonant voices collide with dissonant chords on track one, anchored by Steve Swallow's distinctive electric bass on "The Internationale." This one is perhaps even more madcap than usual because of the confluence of flat, non-singing singers balanced with a sort of Germanic romanticism that in places would have brought a smile to Kurt Weill.

Originally published in May 1997
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