Carla Bley

Night-Glo

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    5
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Though Heavy Heart was supposedly the "mellow, sensual" album Carla Bley had in mind, Night-Glo is more like it -- a relaxed, easygoing, easy-listening series of compositions that nearly spills over into fuzak. Writing for a basic sextet with an added five-man horn section, most effectively when one color melts gently into another, Bley permits the lazy pina-colada mood to amble undisturbed from track to track. Hiram Bullock's guitar, whether in rock or jazz modes, almost defines the laid-back ambience all by itself; Steve Swallow's bass underpins the relaxed groove and velvety horn textures (Randy Brecker is the trumpet voice there); and Paul McCandless can be heard on a variety of single- and double-reed wind instruments. It's a pretty album, always intelligently made, but interminable at times -- most noticeably on the aptly named "Rut."

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