Lost Chords The Lost Chords

A jazz quartet comprised of Carla Bley (piano), Andy Sheppard (sax), Steve Swallow (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums), the Lost Chords are essentially Bley’s latest graceful fling. Sticking with her familiar post-bop style (a mixture of slight tension and breezy elegance), Bley’s compositions are as playful and poignant as ever. The opening suite, "3 Blind Mice,” is a standout that’s ripe with relaxed lyrical interplay and exchange. The bouncy funk of "Hip Hop,” however, isn’t nearly as successful, but the aptly titled, "Tropical Depression,” gets things moving back in the right direction before the standard fare of "Red.” This album’s highest point is a 17-minute suite called "The Lost Chords” that sets a drunken and cool mood before taking a midnight stroll through rain-soaked alleys where shady encounters with wheelers, dealers and high rollers await every turn. The Lost Chords is an impressive debut from four aging players that aren’t without their youthful sparks. (ECM)