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Looking for America


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Audio CD, May 13, 2003
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Grand Mother0:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The National Anthem: OG Can UC?/ Flags/ Whose Broad Stripes?/ Anthem/ Keep It Spangled21:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Step Mother 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Fast Lane 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Los Cocineros10:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Your Mother 1:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tijuana Traffic 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. God Mother 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Old MacDonald Had A Farm 6:17$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000093I4N
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,889 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For over forty years, Carla Bley has written music that infuses jazz traditions with her own personality. She continues to lead a variety of ensembles, from small combos to large-scale big bands. With Looking for America, Bley returns to the big band format. Totaling 18 pieces, the group is a rich blend of 13 horns, two keyboards, and a rhythm section. She has worked with many of the featured musicians for decades, and Bley consequently composes and arranges with their individual voices in mind. Here she returns to a theme she's visited before, most notably on her European Tour 1977 album (with the piece "Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Songs"). Touching on the whole of the North American continent, there are nods to Mexico ("Tijuana Traffics") and Canada ("O Canada"). Once again, Carla Bley excels at deconstructing the familiar. --David Greenberger

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By N. Dorward on July 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As Carla Bley herself says, "The timing couldn't have been worse." 21 minutes of this (59-minute) album are taken up by a suite based around "The Star Spangled Banner"; the album was actually released as US forces assailed Iraq, not exactly a great time to be flagwaving, even with a dose of Carla Bley's characteristic irony. In the event the suite is a rather unsettling mix of cheerfully jaunty grooves & some darker sequences, notably the moody setpiece for Andy Sheppard's tenor & the following free-jazz uproar which leads to a rather mystifying interpolation of "O Canada". The piece ends fittingly on an ambiguous & downbeat moment: a rousing & mostly "straight" (though mildly harmonically tweaked) statement of the national anthem is interrupted by a very dark response led by Gary Valente's trombone, & the piece then completely deflates, the final phrase of the national anthem delivered in a barely-audible pianissimo. I imagine that the interpretation of the piece's import & success will vary wildly with each listener, which is as it should be.
The rest of the album is something of a grab bag of snippets & finished items from Bley's workshop--four lovely miniatures that are all that remains of a failed attempt at a large-scale work, "The Mother"; bits & pieces from various commissions that didn't pan out (e.g.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Spider Robinson on January 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
N. Dorward's review does not really require this correction, does it? Surely nobody who has ever heard Carla Bley's music needs to be told that there are no circumstances under which she could ever flag-wave for an immoral war without irony--right? This CD's title alone makes that clear. Like her Liberation Music Orchestra co-founder Charlie Haden, Ms. Bley loves America far too much, too deeply, and too intelligently to ever become one of its knee jerks. Indeed, LOOKING FOR AMERICA is one of her clearest, and best, statements to that effect. On the day she becomes a flag-waver, Hell will be considerably colder than a Toronto winter.

This is one of the very best CDs yet from a talent the size of Duke Ellington or Frank Zappa.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John I. Hart on August 8, 2014
Format: Audio CD
No longer as tongur on cheek, she should divorce her hubby bassist, who always has his mouth wide open for fly trapping.
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