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Carla Bley$
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Amy C. Beal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036361

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036361.001.0001

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“Mad at Jazz”

“Mad at Jazz”

A Genuine Tong Funeral

Chapter:
(p.34) 4 “Mad at Jazz”
Source:
Carla Bley
Author(s):

Amy C. Beal

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036361.003.0005

This chapter discusses A Genuine Tong Funeral (1967), an unusual album of both lyricism and power that featured Bley's compositions. Bley titled the work for a scene from a French movie depicting a funeral procession in Hong Kong. In connection with the funereal motif, she described her piece as “a dark opera without words.” According to Bley, the thematic thread running through this “dark opera without words” explored “emotions toward death, from the most irreverent to those of deepest loss.” Moreover, in an introduction to the piece, Bley wrote that she thought of A Genuine Tong Funeral as a dramatic work that should be at least partially staged, including lighting effects and costumes for the musicians—an intent likely influenced by the theatrics of the psychedelic rock movement.

Keywords:   A Genuine Tong Funeral, dark opera, psychedelic rock

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