words by Samuel Beckett
     (from 'How It Is')

     Jack Bruce  (voices, bass)
     Carla Bley (piano, clavinet, organs)
     Don Cherry  (trumpet)

     February, July, November 1973

     New York, London


Number Six (Parts One/Two/Three/Four)
Number Twelve (Parts One/Two/Three/Four)

scores available here
listen to excerpt

hard to believe too yes that I have a voice
yes in me yes when the panting stops yes
not at other times no and that I murmur yes
I yes in the dark yes in the mud yes for
nothing yes I yes but it must be believed yes

and the mud yes the dark yes the mud and
the dark are true yes nothing to regret there no    

so things may change no answer end
no answer I may choke no answer sink
no answer sully the mud no more no answer
the dark no answer trouble the peace no
more no answer the silence no answer die
no answer DIE screams I MAY DIE screams
I SHALL DIE screams good

 (from How It Is by Samuel Beckett, translated from the French by the author,
 Copyright © 1964 by Grove Press, Inc., re-printed by permission)


Jack Bruce at his most, Don Cherry undiluted, Carla Bley in many layers, WATT's second record is the darker side of the deepest end. Mantler's first association with Samuel Beckett's words.


Instrumentation is sparse and somber, occasionally heavy on Bley's organ drone. Cherry's presence is comparatively brief, but he's his usual compelling, challenging self, the most distinctive trumpet voice around. Bley and Bruce carry the weight with virtuoso performances. ... This is music of great strength, created by a master composer who needs to be heard. Mantler's music demands the support of open, intelligent ears everywhere.

A Beckett-like "Endgame" atmosphere, a feeling of hopelessness, pervades the work ... a very demanding, exceptionally intelligent production ....