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Haarla, Iro / Ulf Krokfors / Barry Altschul: Around Again | The Music Of Carla Bley (Tum)

A magnificent tribute to the music of Carla Bley in 12 arrangements of Bley's early songbook, performed by a trio led by Finnish pianist and band leader Iro Haarla, with long-time associate Ulf Krokfors on double bass and free jazz legend and Bley associate, drummer Barry Altschul, in a heartfelt, lyrical and refined approach to Bley's elegant compositions.

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product information:

Includes an attached 35 page color booklet with photos and essays about the music, about Carla Bley, and about the artists.

UPC: 6430015280540

Label: Tum
Catalog ID: TUM 54
Squidco Product Code: 26649

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Finland
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel w/ booklet
Recorded at Finnvox in Helsinki, Finland, on November 11th, 2015, by Risto Hemmi.


Iro Haarla-piano

Ulf Krokfors-double bass

Barry Altschul-drums

Carla Bley-composer

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Artist Biographies:

"Iro Haarla (b. 1956) is a Finnish jazzpianist, harpist, keyboardplayer, a composer and a groupleader. She studied piano and composing at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki in the 1970's and has since worked as an important actor both in the Finnish jazzgroups and as a solo artist.

Iro Haarla had an important role in the music of her spouse, drummer Edward Vesala, especially in Sound & Fury -band from 1970s till the death of Vesala in 1999. Haarla's piano and harp were an essential part of the sound of Sound & Fury and the arranging work she did was vital for the activity of the band. The later work of Haarla reveals well how important her input to Sound & Fury has been.

Iro started the 21st century with soloconcerts and a duo album with saxophonist Pepa Päivinen. The British record label November released the album Yarra Yarra (2001) of the duo and it got great feedback around the world. Another duo partner for Haarla in the beginning of the 21st century was saxophonist Tapani Rinne. They didn't release any actual duo album but Haarla featured on Rinne's solo album Nectic. Later the pianist has featured in RinneRadio and played as a sideman in the new band of saxophonist Jorma Tapio, Rolling Thunder.

The productive co-operation with bassist Ulf Krokfors started also as a duo project. The album Heart of a Bird (TUM 2003) consists of compositions of both of the musicians and the moods of these compositions go together seamlessly. Haarla's and Krokfors' bandproject Loco Motife introduced complitely different moods on it's album Penguin Beguine (TUM 2005) that was recorded in the beginning of 2004. The entity of the album is a tour on different moods, from straight jazz to more freer expression and a ballad sang by vocalist Johanna Iivanainen. Penguin Beguine was awarded with the Emma Award in 2005 as the Jazz Album of the Year and was also a nominee for the Teosto Prize.

In 2005 ECM relesed Haarla's solo album Northbound where played, besides Haarla and Krokfors, a few Norwegian jazzlegends. The album got great feedback and later Manfred Eicher, who had produced also Haarla's first solo album, produced another great album, Vespers, from the Finnish-Norwegian quartet that was released in 2011. In 2006 Haarla was awarded with the official recognition prize of Finnish jazz field, the Georgie (Yrjö) Award."

-Jazz Finland (

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"Ulf Magnus "Uffe" Krokfors (born November 20, 1966 in Helsinki ) is a Finnish jazz bassist.

Krokfors became known in 1989 as a bassist in various groups of Edward Vesala ; Among other things, he was involved with Vesala's group Sound & Fury on the CD Ode to the Death of Jazz, but also participated in the Vesala Klaani and 1999 in the quartet with Vesala, the saxophonist Kari Heinilä and the vibraphone player Severi Pyysalo. In 1990 he also started playing in Raoul Björkenheim's jazz rock group Krakatau. Since the late 1990s, he worked together with the drummer Markku Ounaskari.

Since 2000, Krokfors also began to compose; as a result, 2003 released the album Heart of a Bird with pianist and harpist Iro Haarla and saxophonist Rasmus Korsström. With Harlaa he formed the improvisation ensemble Loco Motife, whose album Penguin Beguine 2005 appeared.

With Juhani Aaltonen and Tom Nekljudow Krokfors forms the Juhani Aaltonen Trio. From this formation appeared in 2003, the album Mother Tongue and 2006 Illusion of a Ballad."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (

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"Barry Altschul (born January 6, 1943, New York City)[1] is a free jazz and hard bop drummer who gained fame in the late 1960s with the pianists Paul Bley and Chick Corea.

Altschul, having initially taught himself to play drums, studied with Charlie Persip during the 1960s. In the latter part of the decade, he performed with Paul Bley. In 1969 he joined with Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Anthony Braxton to form the group Circle. At the time, he made use of a high-pitched Gretsch kit with add-on drums and percussion instruments, which he integrated seamlessly in a whirlwind of sound.

In the 1970s Altschul worked extensively with Anthony Braxton's quartet featuring Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, and George Lewis. Braxton, signed to Arista Records, was able to secure a large enough budget to tour with a collection of dozens of percussion instruments, strings and winds. In addition to his participation in ensembles featuring avant-garde musicians, Altschul performed with Lee Konitz, Art Pepper and other "straight ahead" jazz performers.

Altschul also made albums as a leader, but after the mid-1980s he was rarely seen in concert or on record, spending much of his time in Europe. Since the 2000s, he has become more visible, with two sideman appearances on the CIMP label with the FAB trio (with Billy Bang and Joe Fonda), the Jon Irabagon Trio recording "Foxy", and the bassist Adam Lane. Altschul has played or recorded with many musicians, including Roswell Rudd, Dave Liebman, Barre Phillips, Denis Levaillant, Andrew Hill, Sonny Criss, Hampton Hawes, and Lee Konitz."-Wikipedia

-Wikipedia (

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"Carla Bley (born Lovella May Borg, May 11, 1936) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera Escalator over the Hill (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, John Scofield and her ex-husband Paul Bley.

Bley was born in Oakland, California to Emil Borg (1899-1990), a piano teacher and church choirmaster, who encouraged her to sing and to learn to play the piano, and Arline Anderson (1907-1944), who died when Bley was eight years old. After giving up the church to immerse herself in roller skating at the age of fourteen, she moved to New York at seventeen and became a cigarette girl at Birdland, where she met jazz pianist Paul Bley. She toured with him under the name Karen Borg, before she changed her name in 1957 to Carla Borg and married Paul Bley the same year adopting the Bley name. He encouraged her to start composing. The couple later divorced but she kept his surname professionally.Later life and career

A number of musicians began to record Bley's compositions: George Russell recorded "Bent Eagle" on his 1960 release Stratusphunk in 1960; Jimmy Giuffre recorded "Ictus" on his album Thesis; and Paul Bley's Barrage consisted entirely of her compositions. Throughout her career Bley has thought of herself as a writer first, once describing herself as 99 percent composer and one percent pianist.

In 1964 she was involved in organising the Jazz Composers Guild which brought together the most innovative musicians in New York at the time. She then had a personal and professional relationship with Michael Mantler, with whom she had a daughter, Karen, now also a musician in her own right. Bley and Mantler were married from 1965-91. With Mantler, she co-led the Jazz Composers' Orchestra and started the JCOA record label which issued a number of historic recordings by Clifford Thornton, Don Cherry and Roswell Rudd, as well as her own magnum opus Escalator Over The Hill and Mantler's The Jazz Composer's Orchestra LPs. Bley and Mantler followed with WATT Records, which has issued their recordings exclusively since the early 1970s. Bley and Mantler were pioneers in the development of independent artist-owned record labels and also started the now defunct New Music Distribution Service which specialized in small, independent labels that issued recordings of "creative improvised music".

Bley has collaborated with a number of other artists, including Jack Bruce, Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, whose 1981 solo album Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports was entirely written by Bley and performed by her regular band, making it in effect a Carla Bley album in all but name. She arranged and composed music for Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and wrote A Genuine Tong Funeral for Gary Burton. Her arrangement of the score for Federico Fellini's 8½ appeared on Hal Willner's Nino Rota tribute record, Amarcord Nino Rota. She contributed to other Willner projects, including the song "Misterioso" for the tribute to Thelonious Monk entitled That's the Way I Feel Now, which included Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone, and the Willner-directed tribute to Kurt Weill, entitled Lost in the Stars, where she and her band contributed an arrangement of the title track, with Phil Woods on alto saxophone. In the late 1980s, she also performed with Anton Fier's Golden Palominos and played on their 1985 album, Visions of Excess.

She has continued to record frequently with her own big band, which has included Blood, Sweat and Tears' notable Lew Soloff, and a number of smaller ensembles, notably the Lost Chords. Her current partner, the bassist Steve Swallow, has been her closest and most consistent musical associate in recent years and the two have recorded several duet albums. In 1997, a live version of Escalator over the Hill (re-orchestrated by Jeff Friedman) was performed for the first time in Cologne, Germany; in 1998 Escalator toured Europe, and another live performance took place in May 2006 in Essen, Germany.

In 2005 she arranged the music for and performed on Charlie Haden's latest Liberation Music Orchestra tour and recording, Not in Our Name. She lives in Woodstock, New York."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Closer 6:19

2. Vashkar 7:17

3. Batterie 6:06

4. Ida Lupino 4:48

5. Around Again 5:34

6. Olhos de Gato 4:23

7. Intermission Music 5:49

8. King Korn 4:30

9. And Now, the Queen 3:51

10. Utviklingssang 5:52

11. Start 5:46

12. Jesus Maria 6:40
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Around Again - The Music of Carla Bley presents a collection of composer and pianist Carla Bley's compositions in new interpretations by pianist Iro Haarla, bassist Ulf Krokfors and drummer Barry Altschul. While the recording continues the longstanding collaborations of Iro Haarla and Ulf Krokfors, it also introduces in the mix Barry Altschul, who originally recorded many of the featured compositions with pianist Paul Bley's trio more than 50 years ago."-Tum

"At one time the Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla was best known as a collaborator of drummer Edward Vesala (1945-1999). Her own career blossomed in the new millennium, beginning with Penguin Beguine (TUM Records, 2005) followed by multiple releases on ECM and TUM Records, including Northbound (ECM, 2006), Vespers (ECM, 2011), Kirkastus (TUM, 2014), a daring duo outing with saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, and a majestic orchestral outing, Ante Lucem (ECM, 2016), that didn't seem to get nearly the recognition it deserved.

On Around Again: The Music of Carla Bley Haarla has convened a superb piano trio, featuring her long time collaborator, bassist Ulf Krokfors, and a new teammate, drummer Barry Altschul, who played in the early 1960s in the Paul Bley piano trio, interpreting many of the compelling and uncommon compositions of Carla Bley.

In some ways, Haarla and Carla Bley seem to fit into the kindred souls groove. Both came to positions of prominence and distinction in an art form that was mostly a man's world; both spent time as jazz artists in the shadows of men-though in part perhaps by choice: Bley has always been more concentrated on composition over performance, and Paul Bley garnered maybe more attention than she for his renditions of her tunes; while Haarla began as a supporter of Vesala's star before her own began to rise brightly over the horizon. And both write enchantingly amorphous compositions.

The music presented here by Iro Haarla and her trio is from Carla Bley's early songbook. Four of the tunes are taken from Paul Bley's Closer (ESP-Disk, 1965). The music is supremely melodic-though not in a walking-away-whistling-the-tune fashion, but more in a loosely-structured, roaming with-no-destination-in-mind way. "Ida Lupino," one of Carla Bley's most covered compositions, sounds like a solemn prayer. "Closer" feels like a soundtrack to film about loss and confusion. "And Now, The Queen" has a restrained and patient celebratory mood. "Start" feels like a frantic search.

The trio dynamic, from start-to-finish, is superb, as interactive, as push-and-pull, elbow-each-other, dance-with-each-other as they come. It can be compared with the best of them.

The set's closer, "Jesus Maria," one of Carla Bley's earliest compositions, was recorded by the Jimmy Giuffre 3 on Fusion (Verve, 1961). It speaks here with a sense of a tranquility, a shaping of-with a soft sonic clay-a spiritually majestic mood."-Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Includes an attached 35 page color booklet with photos and essays about the music, about Carla Bley, and about the artists.

Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
Piano Trio (Piano Bass Drums)
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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