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The Independent Culture

The Carla Bley Big Band: Goes to Church (Watt, CD only). This is Bley's sly, wicked, but only partly tongue-in-cheek tribute to gospel music - a form whose swelling organ chords and belting melodies have always influenced her work - recorded last summer at a festival in Perugia. The band is three-quarters British, and it scales the ecstatic peaks of the music wonderfully, with guest soloist Andy Sheppard sounding particularly good. Phil Johnson