Sunday, December 03, 2017

Not Quite Jazz

Part of my big haul of Christmas singles from Banana Records yesterday was this 7" from Scholastic Records.  I thought it was one of the ones you used to get from them that told a story along with a book you were supposed to read like we used to get in school, but I think instead this was a demo for a book of Christmas carols they put out.  You can find various mentions of the book around the internet, and even a few mentions of the record (like at Discogs), but very little is made about the fact that it's attributed to Carla Bley.  I have to assume this is the same Carla Bley well known for her work in the jazz field, starting not too long before this record was released.  The music on it is more vocal than jazzy, but it's not entirely bland.  I'm not familiar enough with Carla to say if that's her voice or not on the tracks, but one of you may be able to help say yes or no.  About my only knowledge of Carla Bley is that she released an album with Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure this is going to be something you've never heard before.  Please enjoy Carla Bley-Six Songs From A Wreath Of Carols (Scholastic Records 7" 33 RPM CC 0603, Mono, 1968).

1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
2. A Christmas Carol
3. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
4. Coventry Carol
5. Silent Night
6. O Christmas Tree

Zippyshare
And thanks to Christine Petton of St. Louis, MO, for putting her address labels on her record all those years ago.  I couldn't get the labels off, though I was able to remove her signature from a few spots.

9 comments:

Buster said...

I'm no expert on Carla Bley, but I do know that, if the date on the sleeve is to be believed, she was composing an avant-garde jazz opera called "Escalator Over the Hill" at about the same time as this record.

Buster said...

Let me add a "thank you" for this rarity!

Mark Spencer said...

I bought this record when it was offered by Scholastic! I was going digitize my copy, but you've saved me a lot of time and energy looking for it! Thanks!

Ernie said...

Buster-I'm thinking there may be some difficulty in putting food on the table if you're writing avant-garde jazz operas called Escalator Over The Hill, so maybe Scholastic paid the bills in the meantime.

Mark-Do you remember if this was a separate offering or did it come with the carol book as a kind of demo?

John said...

Another wonderful treat Ernie! Thank you.

The King of Jingaling said...

https://open.spotify.com/album/35UKwJSye10xPwHukR51CA

This album of hers is gorgeous and definitely worth having...

Kwork said...

Thank you for this one. Interesting also about the Nick Mason connection. The only work of his outside of PF that I knew of was his album with Rick Fenn.

Ernie said...

Thanks for mentioning that, Brad. I had meant to talk about her having a much more recent Christmas album, but forgot.

Der Bingle said...

Wow - what a find. Like Brad said, her Christmas CD from a few years ago is excellent. I recently ran across a Christmas song on a comp CD by her husband Paul Bley. And, if you're in the mood for interesting non-Christmas jazz, check out her daughter's album "Karen Mantler's Pet Project", all about Karen's search for a new pet after her cat Arnold went to kitty heaven.