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Posts tagged “ECM

From ECM: New Jazz Releases

New from ECM

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Steve Kuhn Trio Wisteria
ECM 2257

Steve Kuhn piano
Steve Swallow bass
Joey Baron drums

“Wisdom and wistfulness are intertwined in Wisteria, whose title track, written by Art Farmer, takes us back to the early 60s, when both Steve Kuhn and Steve Swallow sang softly of the blues in the trumpeter-flugelhornist’s band. They’ve shared a lot of history since then. Swallow played on Kuhn’s classic Trance; Kuhn played on Swallow’s Home and So There. Drummer Joey Baron has been heard with Kuhn on ECM discs including Remembering Tomorrow and the dazzling tribute disc Mostly Coltrane. This new album takes a fresh look at several pieces heard in Kuhn’s orchestral Promises Kept collection, but alongside the aching balladry there is also some driving hard bop (on A Likely Story) , a brace of Swallow tunes (Dark Glasses), Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged Permanent Wave and the Brazilian Romance by Dori Caymmi… In all, a varied programme that the trio seems to sail through effortlessly, master musicians beyond the need to prove anything, creating the agreeable illusion that this demanding music is playing itself.”

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, All Our Reasons is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”

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Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

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Andy Sheppard,Michel Benita,Sebastian Rochford Trio Libero
ECM 2252

Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Michel Benita double-bass
Sebastian Rochford drums

“UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s second ECM album introduces his freely lyrical new trio with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford. All three players share a sense of stylistic open-mindedness. Drummer Rochford is one of the young players changing perceptions of British jazz with bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland. Algiers-born French bassist Benita, who cites Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro as influences, has played with Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and in the ELB trio with Nguyên Lê and Peter Erskine. Repertoire here includes originals by Sheppard, Benita and Rochford, plus group improvisations and the standard I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. In all contexts, interaction is highly creative, as Benita and Rochford respond perceptively to Sheppard’s melodically and rhythmically inventive lines. Recorded July 2011 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano.”

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Anders Jormin Ad Lucem
ECM 2232

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält. “

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From ECM – New Releases in March 2012

New from ECM

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, “All Our Reasons” is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”


Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

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Anders Jormin Ad Lucem

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


New From ECM This Month

New from ECM

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: The Well
(ECM 2237)

Tore Brunborg tenor saxophone
Tord Gustavsen piano
Mats Eilertsen double bass
Jarle Vespestad drums

“Two years after Restored, Returned introduced this line-up and with extensive touring behind them, on The Well the four musicians of the Gustavsen Quartet really blossom as a band in a programme of new tunes by Tord. Sax player Tore Brunborg is given an important voice here, his melodic lines combining bluesy sonority and Nordic cry. Gently but effectively propelled by the subtle pulses of drummer Jarle Vespestad and bassist Mats Eilertsen, Gustavsen’s gospel-tinged, unhurried piano playing displays a characteristic warmth and tenderness.”

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Tim Berne Snakeoil
(ECM 2234)

Tim Berne alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega B♭ and bass clarinets
Matt Mitchell piano
Ches Smith drums; percussion

“After compelling contributions to ECM discs by David Torn and Michael Formanek, here is Tim Berne’s first leader date for the label. Snakeoil introduces a fascinating ensemble, a ‘chamber-like group’in Berne’s words, albeit one that packs some power. Tim’s tough alto is heard with Oscar Noriega’s earthy clarinets, Mat Mitchell’s cryptic piano, and Ches Smith’s tone-conscious drums, tympani, gongs and congas. Berne: “I’d decided on this very transparent instrumentation to try and avoid obvious stylistic references and to focus the listener on the musical ideas being presented.” Two years of wood-shedding preceded the recording of Snakeoil at New York’s Avatar Studios early in 2011, and the band was ready to roar. The disc is issued on the eve of a tour that takes in dates on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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Andy Sheppard Trio Libero
(ECM 2252)

Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Michel Benita double-bass
Sebastian Rochford drums

“UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s second ECM album introduces his freely lyrical new trio with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford. All three players share a sense of stylistic open-mindedness. Drummer Rochford is one of the young players changing perceptions of British jazz with bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland. Algiers-born French bassist Benita, who cites Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro as influences, has played with Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and in the ELB trio with Nguyên Lê and Peter Erskine. Repertoire here includes originals by Sheppard, Benita and Rochford, plus group improvisations and the standard I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. In all contexts, interaction is highly creative, as Benita and Rochford respond perceptively to Sheppard’s melodically and rhythmically inventive lines. Recorded July 2011 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From ECM: Special Offers of DVD’s

“This year’s final special offer features selected ECM-related DVDs. All December offers will be available until the end of this month.

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Sounds and Silence – Travels With Manfred Eicher
ECM 5050DVD

DVD release of the acclaimed documentary film which won the Berner Film Prize 2009 and is nominated for the Swiss Film Prize. It follows ECM producer Manfred Eicher to sessions, concerts and festivals around the globe, the search for sounds leading from Gräfelfing to Athens, from Udine to Carthage, from Tallinn to Pernes-les-Fontaines, from Copenhagen to Salta, Argentina. Featured musicians include Arvo Pärt, Eleni Karaindrou, Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, Jan Garbarek, Kim Kashkashian, Nik Bärtsch, Gianluigi Trovesi, Anouar Brahem, Marilyn Mazur and more.

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Jean-Luc Godard Anne-Marie Miéville Four Short Films
ECM 5001

De l’origine du XXIe siècle
The Old Place
Liberté et patrie
Je vous salue, Sarajevo

DVD with 120-page hardbound book.
NTSC, Region Code: 0 (world wide), Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles English, Deutsch, 85 min.

Background
ECM Cinema, a new DVD series, is launched with a release dedicated to the work of filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville. It brings together four short films made between 1993 and 2002. Four short films, as writer Michael Athen notes, ‘that encompass everything: art and freedom, presence and memory, violence and passion. Four symphonies composed of images, tones, quotes, and soundtracks. Four essays in which the cinema itself seems to speak to us, in friendly dialogue with painting, literature and music – as a brother to all the arts.’

The release of this DVD coincides with a major retrospective of Godard’s work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and also marks fifteen years of close collaboration between JLG and ECM Records. The label has previously released complete soundtracks of Godard’s Nouvelle Vague and Histoire(s) du Cinéma, inviting the listener to consider the filmmaker as a ‘composer’, a master of sound-collage. This uncommon perspective is one that record reviewers have enthusiastically endorsed. When the films are experienced in their entirety, it is plain enough that JLG is a master of montage at all levels and in the broadest sense: ‘The lines may be by Bergson or Blanchot, Borges or Thomas Mann, the images by Monet or de Staël, Malevich or Rothko, the music by Beethoven or Ravel, Keith Jarrett or Hans Otte – what counts is the way in which Godard appropriates them…’ (from an essay in the accompanying book).

As Godard has said, ‘Manfred Eicher began our relationship by sending me some music… And after listening I wrote to him and asked him to send me more records of his company. And I had the feeling, the way he was producing sound, that we were more or less in the same country: he with sounds, me with images. In fact some of the records brought me to a picture called ‘Nouvelle Vague’ and later other ones … and I began to imagine things due to that kind of music.’

After Nouvelle Vague there was Allemagne Neuf Zéro, Hélas pour moi, JLG/JLG – Autoportrait de décembre, For Ever Mozart, Eloge de l’amour, Notre Musique, the epic video series Histoire(s) du Cinéma, plus short films including The Old Place, De l’origine de XXIe siècle and Je vous salue, Sarajevo – all with music from ECM. In the Four Short Films collection alone there are excerpts from ECM recordings of Arvo Pärt, György Kurtág, Hans Otte, Federico Mompou, Tomasz Stanko, Dino Saluzzi, Keith Jarrett, Ketil Bjørnstad, David Darling and more. What has this music brought to his work? JLG: ‘Much, very much.’

Yet the music is but one element in Godard’s unique mix. As Manfred Eicher observed recently, ‘What makes things so different and special is the way Godard is able to juxtapose sound, light, text and music. His sense of rhythm, inhaling and exhaling, is remarkable, as is his sense of timing. His artistic work is often a point of reference for me, for instance, the sculptural quality of his films and the depth of aesthetic and artistic information they convey.’

The information spills and bleeds through these four films, independent pictures that are also interconnected, with themes and sub-themes carried from one work to the next…

The DVD is issued with a 120-page hardbound book, incorporating the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard’s and Anne-Marie Miéville’s narration (in French and English translation), an essay by Michael Althen (in German, French and English), and more than 70 stills from the film, in black and white and colour.

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Eleni Karaindrou Elegy of the Uprooting – Concert DVD
ECM New 5506

In March 2005 Eleni Karaindrou presented what she called ‘a scenic cantata’ at the Megaron in Athens, a tour through her music for film and theatre, with musical themes newly combined and contrasted. A live audio recording, Elegy of the Uprooting, was issued in 2006: ‘The two-CD set interweaves excerpts of her music from 13 different scores spanning more than two decades, although the irresistible congruence of the music is such that newcomers to Karaindrou’s oeuvre would be forgiven for thinking this is newly composed. [The music] seduces by its profound beauty, tenderness and candour.’. – International Record Review. Here is the video document of the event.

Maria Farantouri voice
Vangelis Christopoulos oboe
Socratis Sinopoulos Constantinople lyra, laouto
Maria Bildea harp
Konstantinos Raptis accordion, bayan
Sergiu Nastasa violin
Renato Ripo violoncello
Stella Gadedi flute
Nikos Guinos clarinet
Sopcratis Anthis trumpet
Spyros Kazianis bassoon
Vangelis Skouras French horn
Aris Dimitriadis mandolin
Christos Tsiamoulis ney
Panos Dimitrakopoulos kanonaki
Andreas Katsiyiannis santouri
Andreas Papas bendir, daouli
Eleni Karaindrou piano
Hellenic Radio and Television Choir
Antonis Kontogeorgiou choirmaster
Camerata Orchestra
Alexandros Myrat conductor

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Keith Jarrett Tokyo Solo
ECM 5501

Tokyo Solo begins where Radiance left off.The final four tracks of Keith Jarrett’s best-selling 2005 CD release featured music from the pianist’s 150th concert in Japan, a solo performance at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Festival Hall.

This DVD, directed by Kanama Kawachi, and licensed from Video Arts Japan, reprises the complete solo concert, and includes more than an hour of previously unreleased Jarrett improvisation. It is the first film of a Jarrett concert to be made available by ECM (two previous solo videos, from the 1980s, were distributed elsewhere).

Jarrett has been a regular visitor to Japan since 1974 when his performances with the ‘American Quartet’ (with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian) as well as a solo concert in Tokyo established him as a major figure there instantly. In 1976, his entire Japanese tour was recorded as The Sun Bear Concerts, an enduring, powerful statement, unique in the annals of improvisation. Personal Mountains, with his ‘European Quartet’ (with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen) at a creative peak, was recorded live in Tokyo in 1979. In 1981, Jarrett drew an audience of 24,000 to the Budokan stadium for a solo concert. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, he performed in Japan in a wide variety of contexts – as solo player, as leader of the [Standards] trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, as interpreter of classical music and contemporary composition. Albums continued to be made there – from Jarrett’s harpsichord account of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded in Nagano), to the standards of Tokyo ’96 to the intense free group playing of ‘Always Let Me Go’ in 2001.

There is no question that the focused attention of an extremely loyal Japanese public has often inspired Keith Jarrett to exceptional performances. The pianist addressed this in a programme note for the 2002 tour. ‘The Japanese public has always welcomed my music with an open mind and heart. It’s an honour to feel this respect for my work. I haven’t played 150 concerts in any geographic location as contained as Japan, yet I always feel as though I have a big, open workshop for the music here. Thank you for listening.’

As with Radiance, Jarrett’s Tokyo Solo is built up from discrete ‘episodes’ or chapters, self-contained pieces of music that add up to a larger shape The moods roved through are many. Yet Jarrett’s improvisational instincts always guide him to the creation of form, of instant composing in a real sense. Kanama Kawachi captures the remarkable process in this film from Tokyo’s striking Metropolitan Festival Hall (built in 1961 to the specifications of Kunio Mayekawa, father of modern Japanese architecture).

At the concert’s end, Jarrett plays three ‘standards’ – his arrangement of the Irish traditional tune “Danny Boy”, Jerome Kern’s “Old Man River”, and “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”, the latter associated with two very different jazz greats, Art Tatum and Count Basie.”

The solo piano concert format established by Keith Jarrett in the 1970s has led to some of his best loved recordings, including 1975’s The Köln Concert, which has sold more than three million copies, as well as Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne, Paris Concert, Vienna Concert, La Scala and more. The next ECM CD release by Keith Jarrett, as yet untitled, will feature the recording of his New York Carnegie Hall solo concert of September 2005. Release is scheduled for autumn 2006.

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Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette Live In Japan 93 / 96
ECM 5504-5

Keith Jarrett piano
Gary Peacock double-bass
Jack DeJohnette drums

Concluding a celebratory year for the Standards Trio, a second specially-priced double DVD package of Tokyo concerts. Standards III/IV brings together the films Live At Open Theater East 1993 and Concert 1996 for the first time on ECM. The 1993 set is an open air concert that tackles a large slice of jazz history from Basin Street Blues to Sonny Rollins’ Oleo, Jarrett’s own The Cure and much more. The 1996 date is the filmed footage that corresponds to the trio’s Tokyo ‘96 CD but adds extra material – including a glowing All The Things You Are and a jaunty account of Ray Bryant’s Tonk.”

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Heinz Bütler, Manfred Eicher Holozän(?)

Included in the offering, but all text is in German, so I cannot relate anything about this DVD.

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


New From ECM- Keith Jarrett “RIO”

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Keith Jarrett Rio
ECM 2198_99

New from ECM, possibly the finest recording company anywhere in the world.

Releasing today.

“A fascinating document of Keith Jarrett’s solo concert in Rio de Janeiro on April 9, 2011. The pianist pulls a broad range of material from the ether: thoughtful/reflective pieces, abstract sound-structures, pieces that fairly vibrate with energy. The double album climaxes with a marvellous sequence of encores. 40 years ago Keith Jarrett recorded his first ECM disc, the solo piano “Facing You”. He has refined his approach to solo music many times since then, always finding new things to play. So it is here, in this engaging solo recording from Brazil.”

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New From ECM Three Releases

New from ECM

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Enrico Rava Quintet Tribe
ECM 2218

Enrico Rava trumpet
Gianluca Petrella trombone
Giovanni Guidi piano
Gabriele Evangelista double-bass
Fabrizio Sferra drums
Giacomo Ancillotto guitar

“Since his return to ECM with Easy Living in 2003, the grand master of Italian jazz has gone from strength to strength, in a series of truly exceptional recordings including Tati, The Words and The Days, The Third Man, and New York Days. Enrico Rava is currently playing at a peak of lyrical invention, and his newest Italian quintet is amongst his strongest ensembles. Gianluca Petrella is retained from The Words and the Days line-up. Voted Rising Star Trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll of 2005, he has a front-line relationship with Rava which recalls Enrico’s affinity with Roswell Rudd back in the heyday of the New Thing. Fast-moving, quick-witted exchanges abound. Enrico has always encouraged younger musicians, and pianist Giovanni Guidi (born 1985) is a real find, a player of creativity and imagination: ‘When I notice the gifts of a young musician, I immediately involve him in my groups. This is not motivated by altruism,’ Rava insists. ‘Giovanni Guidi is like Bollani and Petrella: he astounds me every time.’ Bassist Gabriele Evangelista (b. 1988), another young player of promise, works splendidly alongside widely-experienced drummer Fabrizio Sferra, whose resume includes work with Chet Baker, Paul Bley and Kenny Wheeler. Material on ‘Tribe’ includes new and old tunes by Rava and a brace of collective improvisations. The album was recorded at Arte Suono Studio in Udine in October 2010, with Manfred Eicher producing.”

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Gianluigi Trovesi
Gianni Coscia, Frère Jacques Round about Offenbach
ECM 2217

Gianluigi Trovesi piccolo and alto clarinets
Gianni Coscia accordion

“The indefatigable Italian duo, having wrestled with Kurt Weill (Round About Weill) and with Milanese composer Fiorenzo Carpi (In cerca di cibo), now turns its attention to another spiritual soul-brother, Jacques Offenbach. The French composer of German origin (born in Cologne in 1819) wrote some of the most playful and sparkling music of the 19th century, ingenious music that could be beautiful and highly satirical by turns, always meticulously crafted. Unconcerned whether his work was regarded as high art, unafraid of frivolity, cheerfully parodying Wagner and other cultural icons – how could Offenbach not be a hero for Trovesi and Coscia??”

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Jon Balke/Batagraf Say And Play
ECM 2245

Jon Balke piano, keyboards, electronics, tungoné, darbouka, percussion
Helge Andreas Norbakken sabar, gorong, djembe, talking drum, shakers, percussion
Emilie Stoesen Christensen vocals
Erland Dahlen drums
Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen poetry reading

Batagraf is a percussion think tank, a constellation of players researching the outer parameters of rhythmic music. Inspired by techniques and traditions from West African Wolof music, the group explores new polyphonic textures. The relation between language and rhythm is constantly being investigated in Batagraf, the collective centered around the collaboration between Helge Norbakken and Jon Balke. Norbakken has developed his personal approach to percussion, inspired by African drum music traditions, but also developed in new directions through collaborations with numerous artists. He has been a member of Balke’s Magnetic North and Siwan projects and has also played on ECM recordings with Jon Hassell and Miki N’Doye. While best-known as pianist and composer-arranger, Jon Balke has also been a devoted percussion player since the early days of Eolén, Afro-jazz group of the early 80s. ‘Drumming is speaking’ says Balke, ‘and language is a miracle in all its manifestations.’ On Say and Play Batagraf are inspired by the rich traditions of Wolof, Yoruba, Cuban and Arabic music, most particularly the inner energy and creativity of these cultures.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From ECM: Chick Corea at The Blue Note

News from ECM

Chick Corea is about to celebrate his 70th birthday with concerts at New York’s Blue Note club throughout November.

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Chick Corea

The event is a festival of old and new friends, and includes the duo with Gary Burton initiated at ECM, as well as the current Return To Forever. Other musicians well-known to ECM listeners will be appearing over the course of the month – including Gary Peacock, Paul Motian, and Jack DeJohnette. As Chick astutely observes, ‘It takes a lifetime to throw a party like this’.

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From ECM New, This Fall, Four Releases

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Toshio Hosokawa Landscapes
ECM New Series 2095

Mayumi Miyata shô
Münchener Kammerorchester
Alexander Liebreich conductor

“We last heard from Mayumi Miyata on Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, where the sound of the shō, one of the oldest wind instruments, symbolized other planes of existence: it seems to carry with it the feeling of other times and places. This has made it paradoxically attractive to contemporary composers. John Cage wrote some of his final music for the shō, and it was perhaps inevitable that Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa would give it special consideration. In this fascinating collaboration with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Mayumi Miyata solos in Hosakawa’s music for strings and shō, and plays unaccompanied shō on Sakura, Hosakawa’s adaptation of a traditional Japanese piece. The album concludes with Cloud and Light, a 22-minute piece from 2008, where orchestra and shō drift weightlessly in resonant space.”

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Toshio Hosokawa

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Duo Gazzana Five Pieces
ECM New 2238

Natascia Gazzana violin
Raffaella Gazzana piano

“This is the recording debut of Italian sisters Natascia and Raffaella Gazzana, named for the Five Pieces for violin and piano by Valentin Silvestrov which conclude the album. These works – a gently-pulsing elegy, a serenade, an intermezzo, a barcarole, a ghostly nocturne – receive their international release here in a context which combines the familiar and the far-flung, as Duo Gazzana finds creative affinities between the music of four very different composers. “The programme as a whole is typical of the duo’s inquiring and sensitive approach to repertory”, writes Paul Griffiths in the liner notes. ‘What we hear here is a vital freshness’.”

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Natascia and Raffaella Gazzana

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Boris Yoffe Song of Songs
ECM New 2174

Rosamunde Quartett
Andreas Reiner, violin
Diane Pascal, violin
Helmut Nicolai, viola
Anja Lechner, violoncello

The Hilliard Ensemble
David James, countertenor
Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor
Steven Harrold, tenor
Gordon Jones, baritone

“Russian-born Israeli composer Boris Yoffe began writing short pieces for string quartet – each a page long, playing for around half a minute – in 1995, when he was in his mid-twenties. By now his Book of Quartets is a compendium of several thousand pages, and one constantly growing. The pieces on this recording were selected, by the players and by the composer, from the approximately eight hundred he has written during the last three or four years. Among them are other single-page compositions from a related, interpenetrating project in which the quartet’s four parts become eight with the addition of four singers, their voices matching the instruments in range as they sing phrases from the Song of Songs. The Rosamunde quartet and the Hilliard Ensemble collaborate for the first time in this New Series debut for Yoffe, recorded in St. Gerold in November 2009.”

by
Boris Yoffe

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Gidon Kremer Edition Lockenhaus
ECM New 2190

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Gidon Kremer

Five-CD limited-edition box set, issued in time for the 30th anniversary of the Austrian chamber-music festival. Edition Lockenhaus returns long out-of-print titles to the catalogue, with some of the finest musicians of the New Series, including Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, Thomas Demenga, Robert Levin, Eduard Brunner and many more. Gidon Kremer: ‘The artistic atmosphere in Lockenhaus soon has everybody speaking on the same wavelength.’The set opens with previously unreleased recordings – from 2001 and 2008 – with Sir Simon Rattle and Roman Kofman conducting Kremerata Baltica in revelatory performances of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Olivier Messiaen’s Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine: the committed interpretations convey the spirit of Lockenhaus. Discs two through five focus on music of César Franck, André Caplet, Francis Poulenc, Leos Janácek, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Erwin Schulhoff. Original liner notes, an interview with Kremer, and new texts complete a very special edition.”


New From ECM for the Fall

New from ECM

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.

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Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, Felix Saluzzi, Navidad de los Andes
ECM 2204 (2011)

Dino Saluzzi bandoneon
Anja Lechner violoncello
Felix Saluzzi tenor saxophone

“Cellist Anja Lechner and clarinet and sax man Felix Saluzzi both appeared as soloists on Dino’s orchestral recording El Encuentro in 2009, a shared pleasure in the work leading to the formation of the present trio, a group which draws on much musical history. Brothers Dino and Felix have more than 60 years of collaborations behind them. They started making music together as children in Argentina, and Felix frequently plays in Dino’s “family band” projects (as heard on ECM albums including Mojotoro and Juan Condori). Anja Lechner has worked closely with Dino since the mid-1990s, beginning with the “Kultrum” alliance between Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartet. She has also toured widely in duo with the bandoneonist, and recorded with him on the critically-acclaimed Ojos Negros in 2006. Navidad de Los Andes (Andean Nativity) has its own distinct character, at once simple and elusive, like the magical realist tales of the region. From the liner notes by Leopoldo Castilla: ‘In this beautiful musical work sound is born with the intensity of the wind and the powerful progression of the sand that preserves memories. Between these forces, the melody creates spaces that rise or cascade slowly downward like empty skies. (…) Suddenly, the tango, an outsider, with a hat and a black moon, enters the scene. A long shadow, enticed by the river of music.”

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Stefano Battaglia Trio, The River of Anyder
ECM E2151 2011)

Stefano Battaglia piano
Salvatore Maiore double-bass
Roberto Dani drums

“The pure water of the Anyder River flowered through Sir Thomas Moore’s “Utopia”. Italian pianist Stefano Battaglia celebrates it and other mythical and legendary locations in a trio recording of new compositions which spurn self-conscious modernity: ‘I pushed myself to write songs and dances uninfluenced by the sophistication of contemporary musical languages, striving to shape pieces that might have been played on archaic instruments a thousand years ago.’ If the piano trio is itself a modern institution and the group understanding that what Battaglia, Maiore and Dani share cannot help but be of-the-moment, Battaglia has nonetheless made an album that feels ‘timeless’.”


From ECM: Chick Corea Stefano Bollani “Orvieto”

New from ECM

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Chick Corea, Stefano Bollani Orvieto
ECM 2222 (9.27.11)

Chick Corea piano
Stefano Bollani piano

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Chick Corea

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Stefano Bollani

Orvieto

Part I
Orvieto Improvisation No. 1
Retrato Em Branco E Preto
If I Should Lose You
Doralice
Jitterbug Waltz
A Valsa da Paula

Part II
Orvieto Improvisation No. 2
Nardis [4 :45-end]
Este Seu Olhar
Darn That Dream
Tirititran
Armando’s Rhumba
Blues In F

Recorded December 2010/January 2011

“Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani in their first recorded collaboration, a document of a most spirited gig in Orvieto’s Teatro Mancinelli last December. Effervescent virtuosity abounds as the two piano genii romp through a programme that includes Jobim’s Retrato Em Branco E Preto, the swing ballad Darn That Dream, Fats Waller’s Jitterbug Waltz, Miles Davis’s Nardis, blues, improvisations and more. The recording is Corea’s first new ECM date in more than a quarter-century.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


New From ECM: Lloyd/Farantouri Collaboration – “Athens Concert”

New from ECM, possibly the finest recording company in the world.

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Charles Lloyd Maria Farantouri Athens Concert
ECM 2205-06 (Sept.13, 2011)

“Stunning performance in front of a huge audience at the open air Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as Charles Lloyd, uniquely-expressive saxophonist, and Maria Farantouri, Greece’s voice of resistance, come together. Friends for some years, this is their first recorded collaboration. Lloyd’s brilliant quartet is on hand – with Jason Moran in especially creative mode – augmented by lyra player Socratis Sinopoulos and second pianist Takis Frazio in a marvelous programme that includes songs by Mikis Theoedorakis, suites of Greek traditional music, Eleni Karaindrou’s Journey to Kythera and Lloyd originals including his classic Dream Weaver. “Athens Concert” is a major event, a very special live album indeed.

Charles Lloyd tenor saxophone, flute, tarogato
Maria Farantouri voice
Jason Moran piano
Reuben Rogers double-bass
Eric Harland drums
Socratis Sinopoulos lyra
Takis Farazis piano

CD 1
Kratissa ti zoi mou
Dream Weaver
Blow Wind
Requiem

Greek Suite, Part I
Hymnos stin Ayia Triada
Epano sto xero homa
Messa Stous paradissious kipous
Taxidi sta Kythera

CD 2
Prayer

Greek Suite, Part II
Vlefaro mou

Margaritarenia
Thalassaki Mou

Greek Suite, Part III
Epirotiko Meroloi
Kaegomae kae Sigoliono
Mori kontoula lemonia
Alismono kae haeromae
Tou hel’ to kastron
Yanni Mou


From ECM: Music of Georges I. Gurdjieff

New from ECM, possibly the finest recording company in the world.

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ECM 2236

“Fascinating and highly attractive project which returns the music of Gurdjieff (c. 1866 – 1949) to its ethnic inspirational sources. To date Gurdjieff’s compositions have largely been studied, in the West, via the piano transcriptions of Thomas de Hartmann. Armenian composer Levon Eskenian now goes beyond the printed notes to look at the musical traditions that Gurdjieff encountered during his travels, and rearranges the compositions from this perspective. Eskenian draws attention to the roots of the pieces in Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, Persian and Caucasian folk and spiritual music. Enlisting the assistance of some of the leading players in Armenia, Eskenian founded the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble in 2008, and with them he has now realized a remarkable album.

Emmanuel Hovhannisyan, duduk
Avag Margaryan, blul
Armen Ayvazyan, kamancha
Aram Nikoghosyan, oud
Levon Torosyan, oud
Meri Vardanyan, kanon
Vladimir Papikyan, santur
Davit Avagyan, tar
Mesrop Khalatyan, dap, dhol
Armen Yeganyan, saz
Reza Nesimi, tombak
Harutyun Chkolyan, duduk
Tigran Karapetyan, duduk
Artur Atoyan dam, duduk
Levon Eskenian – director

Chant from a Holy Book
Kurd Shepherd Melody
Prayer
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 10
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 29
Armenian Song
Bayaty
Sayyid Chant and Dance No. 9
No. 11

Caucasian dance
No. 40
Trinity
Assyrian Women Mourners
Atarnakh, Kurd Song
Arabian Dance
Ancient Greek Dance
Duduki

This title will be released at Amazon on October 4, 2011.


From ECM: Gidon Kremer “Lockenhaus”

New from ECM, possibly the finest recording company in the world.
Gidon Kremer Lockenhaus

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ECM/2200/2202 Releasing July 26, 2011

Tonight the 30th Lockenhaus festival opens with a concert at Burg Lockenhaus. Once more Gidon Kremer and the festival musicans present a series of programmes developped as a work-in-progress far from all routine, this year under the festival motto “Uncompromisingly young”.

In time for the 30th anniversary of the unique chamber music festival co-founded by violinist Gidon Kremer and Pastor Josef Herowitsch in the Austrian village of Lockenhaus, ECM issues a 5-CD box of recordings.

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Gidon Kremer

As he explains in an interview in the 60-page booklet included in the set, Kremer originally sought out Lockenhaus in 1981 as a ‘home with open doors’, wanting an artistic centre of a kind he’d not had since leaving Moscow, a place where friends could congregate to share musical discoveries. Very different from the more conventional classical festivals, Lockenhaus, quickly became a gathering point for musicians, young musicians primarily, eager to pool their energies, knowledge and skills.

Early in Lockenhaus’s history, producer Manfred Eicher began working with Gidon Kremer, recording the music of the festivals, and an “Edition Lockenhaus” was launched under the larger umbrella of ECM New Series. Out of print now for some years, the first Lockenhaus recordings have been eagerly sought out by collectors.


Manfred Eicher

For more information about this year’s Lockenhaus programme go here.

Five-CD limited-edition box set, issued in time for the 30th anniversary of the Austrian chamber-music festival. “Edition Lockenhaus” returns long out-of-print titles to the catalogue, with some of the finest musicians of the New Series, including Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, Thomas Demenga, Robert Levin, Eduard Brunner and many more. Gidon Kremer: “The artistic atmosphere in Lockenhaus soon has everybody speaking on the same wavelength.” The set opens with previously unreleased recordings – from 2001 and 2008 – with Sir Simon Rattle and Roman Kofman conducting Kremerata Baltica in revelatory performances of Richard Strauss’s “Metamorphosen” and Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine”: the committed interpretations convey the spirit of Lockenhaus. Discs two through five focus on music of César Franck, André Caplet, Francis Poulenc, Leos Janácek, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Erwin Schulhoff. Original liner notes, an interview with Kremer, and new texts complete a very special edition.

Gidon Kremer
Edition Lockenhaus

CD 1

Richard Strauss
Metamorphosen
Kremerata Baltica
Simon Rattle conductor

Olivier Messiaen
Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine
Shedryk Children’s Choir, Kiev
Markus Bellheim piano
Christine Rohan ondes martenot
Khatia Buniatishvili celesta
Andrei Pushkarev vibraphone
Dmytro Marchenko
Igor Krasovsky percussion
Kremerata Baltica
Roman Kofman conductor

CD 2

César Franck
Piano Quintet in f minor
Alexandre Rabinovitch piano
Lukas Hagen
Krista Bennion violins
Tabea Zimmermann viola
Clemens Hagen violoncello

André Caplet
Conte fantastique
after Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”
Ursula Holliger harp
Daniel Phillips
Michael Schnitzler
Gérard Caussé viola
Ko Iwasaki violoncello

Francis Poulenc
Two Songs from “Fiançailles pour rire”
Christine Whittlesey soprano
Robert Levin piano

CD 3

Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 1 after Leo Tolstoi’s “Kreutzer Sonata”
Lukas Hagen
Annette Bik violins
Veronika Hagen viola
Clemens Hagen violoncello

Igor Stravinsky
Tango – Valse – Ragtime
from “L’Histoire du Soldat”
Gidon Kremer violin
Eduard Brunner clarinet
Aloys Kontarsky piano

Concerto en Ré
Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
Heinz Holliger conductor

Dimitri Shostakovich
Waltz from “The Return of Maxim”
Barrel Organ Waltz from “The Gadfly”
Irena Grafenauer flute
Eduard Brunner clarinet
Oleg Maisenberg piano

Two Pieces for String Octet op. 11
Lukas Hagen
Thomas Zehetmair
Annette Bik
Daniel Phillips violins
Veronika Hagen
Hatto Beyerle violas
Clemens Hagen
Markus Stocker violoncellos

CD 4

Dimitri Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 14 op. 142
Gidon Kremer
Yuzuko Horigome violins
Kim Kashkashian viola
David Geringas violoncello

String Quartet No. 13 op. 138
Gidon Kremer
Thomas Zehetmair violins
Nobuko Imai viola
Boris Pergamentschikow violoncello

Two Movements for String Quartet
Gidon Kremer
Annette Bik violins
Veronika Hagen viola
Thomas Demenga violoncello

CD 5

Erwin Schulhoff
Sextet op. 45
Gidon Kremer
Philip Hirschhorn violins
Nobuko Imai
Kim Kashkashian viola
David Geringas
Julius Berger violoncello

Duo for Violin and Cello
Philip Hirschhorn violin
David Geringas violoncello

Cinq Études de Jazz op. 58
James Tocco piano

Recorded live 1981-2008
ECM New Series 2190


New From ECM: R. Villalobos, M. Loderbauer “Re: ECM”


ECM is simply the finest recording company in the world.

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R. Villalobos, M. Loderbauer Re: ECM
ECM 2210, 2211

Ricardo Villalobos electronics
Max Loderbauer electronics

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Ricardo Villalobos

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Max Loderbauer

“Berlin-based DJs and composers Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer – two of the best-known names in contemporary electronica – share their admiration for music on ECM in a unique double-album of specially-created “sound-structures”. Their project Re: ECM will bring the label’s music to a new listenership. It is certain to be one of the most talked-about albums of the season. Using original ECM recordings as a starting point, Villalobos and Loderbauer create new music that bridges several worlds, including ECM’s world of space-conscious improvisation and composition and the worlds of ambient electronics and minimal techno. Source materials on Re: ECM include recordings of Christian Wallumrød, Alexander Knaifel, Louis Sclavis, John Abercrombie, Bennie Maupin, Arvo Pärt, Wolfert Brederode, Paul Giger and more – looped, sampled, remixed and reworked in evocative new treatments. Pleased with the duo’s creative response to his productions Manfred Eicher gave them carte blanche to carry on experimenting with the ECM titles of their choice. Eicher subsequently supervised the mastering of Re: ECM in Munich, completing a unique sonic experience.


Manfred Eicher

CD1
Reblop
Recat
Resvete
Retimeless
Reemergence
Reblazhenstva
Reannounce
Recurrence
Requote

CD 2
Replob
Reshadub
Rebird
Retikhiy
Rekondakion
Rensenada
Resole
Redetach


New From ECM: Amina Alaoui Ensemble, Marilyn Mazur, Michael Mantler

Three New Offerings from ECM, possibly the finest recording company in the world.

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Marilyn Mazur Celestial Circle
ECM 2228

Marilyn Mazur drums, percussion, voice
John Taylor piano
Josefine Cronholm voice
Anders Jormin double-bass

“Marilyn Mazur’s work has always expressed a free-spiritedness beyond idioms and borders. Born in New York, raised in Denmark, she has contributed powerfully to improvisation on both sides of the Atlantic, and her resume has included stints with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Gil Evans as well as 14 years on the road with the Jan Garbarek Group. In recent years her own groups have been the primary focus and the adventurous, song-oriented Celestial Circle has been active since 2008. The present disc is the group’s first recording. Material intersperses songs and instrumentals penned by Mazur with collectively improvised trios and duos. Singer Josefine Cronhom (who previously worked with Mazur in the Percussion Paradise ensemble) has her ECM debut here and old friends John Taylor and Anders Jormin make welcome returns.”

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Rf8ReKGgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Amina Alaoui Ensemble Arco Iris
ECM 2180

Amina Alaoui vocals, daf
Saïfallah Ben Abderrazak violin
Sofiane Negra oud
José Luis Montón flamenco guitar
Eduardo Miranda mandolin
Idriss Agnel percussion

“Following her outstanding performance in collaborative work with Jon Balke and Jon Hassell on the Siwan recording of 2007/8, Moroccan-born singer Amina Alaoui presents her own border-transcending project. When Alaoui sings there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself explores the common crucible of the styles, and Amina’s delivery makes the interconnections impossible to miss. She is superbly accompanied by her outstanding ensemble in which violin often echoes the voice, and oud, flamenco guitar and sparkling mandolin surround it. Guitarist José Luis Montón from Barcelona has a strong following amongst flamenco adherents worldwide. Mandolinist Eduardo Miranda was born in Brazil, has lived the last two decades in Portugal, and links choro and fado styles through a vocabulary influenced by jazz. Violinist Saïfallah Ben Abderrazak and oud player Sofiane Negra are from Tunisia. Idriss Agnel, Amina’s son, plays percussion and adds a shimmer of electric guitar.”

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Michael Mantler For Two
ECM 2139

Bjarne Roupé guitars
Per Salo piano

“The concise and relatively short pieces featured on this new recording continue Michael Mantler’s basic concept of creating music that is in part completely notated, but also involves improvisation. It is here reduced to a minimum, possibly his simplest and most economic interpretation of that idea so far, with only two instruments: the piano representing his basically orchestral compositional concept with a soloist from contemporary new music (a “classical” non-improvising pianist), combined with a second player coming from jazz, the guitarist (improvising and freely interpreting).”


New From ECM: “Live At Birdland” Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian

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ECM 2162

Lee Konitz, alto saxophone
Brad Mehldau, piano
Charlie Haden, double-bass
Paul Motian, drums

“Long-awaited release date for Konitz/ Mehldau/ Haden/ Motian Live At Birdland is today!”

“A quartet of master musicians and a programme of jazz classics. Live At Birdland presents the finest moments from two inspired nights at New York’s legendary club, as Konitz, Mehldau, Haden and Motian play Lover Man, Lullaby Of Birdland, Solar, I Fall In Love Too Easily, You Stepped Out Of A Dream and Oleo with freedom, tenderness, and a love of melody that only jazz’s greatest improvisers can propose.”


New From ECM: Craig Taborn “Avenging Angel”

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Craig Taborn Avenging Angel
ECM 2207

Solo Piano

Avenging Angel is Craig Taborn’s distinguished contribution to the great solo piano tradition at ECM, a powerful, purposeful and rigorous album, which rises to the challenges of the format and transcends them. The disc explores the textural dimensions of sound, builds new structures, uncovers a rugged lyricism. Recorded in the optimal acoustics of the recital room at Lugano’s Studio RSI, with Manfred Eicher producing, it’s Taborn’s first disc under his own name for ECM, following on from inspired sessions with Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, David Torn and Michael Formanek.

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Craig Taborn

Releasing June 7, 2011
At Amazon $15.26


ECM Recordings May 2011

ECM is possibly the best production company in the music business.

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Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Live at Birdland,
ECM 2162

Lee Konitz, alto saxophone
Brad Mehldau, piano
Charlie Haden, double-bass
Paul Motian, drums

“A quartet of master musicians and a programme of jazz classics. Live At Birdland presents the finest moments from two inspired nights at New York’s legendary club, as Konitz, Mehldau, Haden and Motian play Lover Man, Lullaby Of Birdland, Solar, I Fall In Love Too Easily, You Stepped Out Of A Dream and Oleo with freedom, tenderness, and a love of melody that only jazz’s greatest improvisers can propose.”

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Craig Taborn Avenging Angel
ECM 2207

Craig Taborn, piano

Avenging Angel is Craig Taborn’s distinguished contribution to the great solo piano tradition at ECM, a powerful, purposeful and rigorous album, which rises to the challenges of the format and transcends them. The disc explores the textural dimensions of sound, builds new structures, uncovers a rugged lyricism. Recorded in the optimal acoustics of the recital room at Lugano’s Studio RSI, with Manfred Eicher producing, it’s Taborn’s first disc under his own name for ECM, following on from inspired sessions with Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, David Torn and Michael Formanek.”

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Manfred Eicher

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Meredith Monk Songs of Ascension
ECM New Series 2154

Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble voices
Todd Reynolds Quartet string quartet
The M6 voices
Montclair State University Singers

Songs of Ascension is a major new recording from composer Meredith Monk and her vocal ensemble. Written in 2008, it is conceived as a continuous composition, a departure from Monk’s earlier collaged or episodic extended works. In recent years Meredith Monk’s been expanding into the worlds of orchestra and string quartet. On Songs of Ascension she teams up with a string quartet of New York players well versed in new music. With winds, percussion and two vocal groups added to her already extraordinary singers, this is one of Monk’s most musically ambitious ventures. Voices and instruments are paired and balanced against each other to an extent rare in her music. Inspirations for the work included the Song of Ascents, a group of psalms said to have been sung during pilgrimages, and a timely invitation to perform at an 8-story tower designed by visual artist Ann Hamilton. Songs of Ascension finds Monk playing with the musical, sonic, metaphysical and literal connotations of upward movement.”


From ECM New Releases in April

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Nils Økland Lysøen Hommage à Ole Bull
ECM 2179

Nils Økland violin, hardanger fiddle
Sigbjørn Apeland piano, harmonium

Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland are the first musicians to record an album at Lysøen, the Norwegian island home of iconic violinist-composer Ole Bull (1810-1880). For years they have explored Ole Bull’s musical landscapes with open minds, and found inspiration to develop their own ideas. In this recording they have chosen to emphasise the contemplative elements in Ole Bull’s music. The album presents partly the performers’ own arrangements and improvisations based on tunes that Bull performed, and partly new compositions inspired by Ole Bull.”

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Wolfert Brederode Quartet Post Scriptum
ECM 2184

Wolfert Brederode piano
Claudio Puntin clarinets
Mats Eilertsen double-bass
Samuel Rohrer drums

“Second album from Dutch pianist Brederode and his international band, with clarinettist Puntin and drummer Rohrer from Switzerland, and Norwegian bassist Eilertsen. The music builds upon the achievements of 2006’s Currents, a recording that received high critical acclaim: ‘ What is marvellous about this music [said All About Jazz] is that it combines a moody airiness with intellectual rigor. The romantic emotionality that paints beautiful images of sound has sinews of steel. It simultaneously invites the listener with its surface beauty, only to create bonds that hold on strongly as it weaves its spell.’ Brederode’s is music that flows, drawing influences from both the jazz and the classical traditions. It suggests more than it states, and is the more powerful for its restraint.”

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Gidon Kremer Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė Khatia Buniatishvili Peter I. Tchaikovsky / Victor Kissine: Piano Trios

ECM 2202

Gidon Kremer violin
Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė violoncello
Khatia Buniatishvili piano

“Two compositions bracketing the history of Russian chamber music. A revelatory account of Tchaikovsky’s piano trio op.50, juxtaposed with Victor Kissine’s Zerkalo of 2009, a work dedicated to performers Kremer, Dirvanauskaitė and Buniatishvili, and inspired by two lines from Anna Akhmatova: “The mirror dreams only of the mirror / Silence watches over silence.” Issued on the eve of a major tour with dates in both Europe and Japan, and with Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and Lithuanian cellist Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė hailed as two of the most gifted players of their generation, this newest project from Gidon Kremer is certain to be one of the events of the season.”


ALL ABOUT JAZZ Shows its Good Taste: “Arvo Pärt: Tabula Rasa”

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Nenad Georgievski

“A question that has always been asked, regardless of genre, is whether music can be conservative and revolutionary at the same time. Various composers have surfaced in recent times with brilliant compositions, but their work has not adhered to any of the schools of composition that make up the 20th century classical music. These composers have often drawn inspiration from musical principles and philosophies that are foreign to the classical heritage, and in general have been less concerned with academic approval and theoretical correctness than with communicating directly with the listeners.

One of those composers is Arvo Pärt, whose spiritually resonant music has evolved from a deep Christianity (as well as the music of Steve Reich, Satie, Ligeti, John Cage and Russian neo-classicism, among many), and whose work is one of the defining soundworlds of the last 30 years. Journalist Tom Casetta wrote that there are many paths to God and the music of Arvo Pärt is, without a doubt, one of them. His music demands an intuitive mode of perception which includes the experience of silence, something that is ever present in the tradition of the Orthodox Church.

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Arvo Pärt

Pärt first came to broad public attention in 1984, even though for years prior to that he was a prolific composer of film music in his native former Soviet Union. When in 1984 Manfred Eicher decided to start a new branch to his ECM label for composers (The New Series), it was a result of hearing the music of Pärt on the car radio during a late night drive. It struck him so powerfully that he had to stop the car to listen. ‘ What moved me in his music,’ wrote Eicher, ‘ was clarity—the direct path to ear and mind, a drama of quiet passion. The music was cathartic, a music of slowly beating wings. A drawing-inward of all feeling, as if the music were burying itself in a crypt of its own making: pitiless and solitary. A music of innermost calm demanding concentration from the musicians as well as from the listeners. These compositions didn’t make the vulnerable soul turn inward; they created a dialectic of action and stillness.’ “

From Stephen Hill, producer of Music From the Hearts of Space on Arvo Pärt:

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Stephen Hill

“PGM 375 : CONSTANT STILLNESS

As we reach the waning days of another year, many people try and take the time to reflect on our increasingly complex lives. It’s at these times the music of the contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt takes on a special importance, due to its simplicity and innocent spirituality.

Pärt writes music rich with silence against the general turmoil and hubbub of the world. His constant desire is to express the mysterious, the numinous, and the unknowable. “Time and timelessness are connected,” he says. “This instant and eternity are struggling within us. And this is the cause of all our obstinacy, our narrow mindedness, our faith, and our grief.”

On this edition of Hearts of Space a program dedicated entirely to the music of Arvo Pärt, called CONSTANT STILLNESS.

Many writers have tried to fathom the meaning and the method of Arvo Pärt’s music, but none better than Pärt himself. Of his minimalist style he says, ‘ The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comfort me. So I work with very few elements, with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most primitive of materials.’

Of his TE DEUM, he says, ‘ I wished only to convey a mood. A mood that could be infinite in time, but by delicately removing one piece, one particle of time, out of the flow of infinity. I have to draw this music gently out of silence, and emptiness.’

We begin with the Kronos Quartet’s performance of FRATRES, from the album WINTER WAS HARD, and continue with a selection of music by Arvo Pärt from his growing catalog of recordings on the ECM New Series. From Part’s 1993 recording TE DEUM, SILOUANS SONG for chamber orchestra. From TABULA RASA, the CANTUS IN MEMORY OF BENJAMIN BRITTEN. From ARBOS, the DE PROFUNDIS for four solo voices, organ and percussion. From TE DEUM, the MAGNIFICAT for a cappella choir, and the SANCTUS for chorus and orchestra. From TABULA RASA, the title piece for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra. And finally, from ARBOS, the PARI INTERVALLO for organ.

CONSTANT STILLNESS: the music of Arvo Pärt, on this hour of Hearts of Space.”


From ECM: Marcin Wasilewski Trio “Faithful”; and François Couturier”Tarkovsky Quartet”

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Marcin Wasilewski Trio
Faithful
ECM 2208

Marcin Wasilewski piano
Slawomir Kurkiewicz double-bass
Michal Miskiewicz drums

“Dazzling third ECM album by Poland’s Wasilewski Trio, which perfectly captures the group’s blend of energy and lyricism. There is space here for both the outgoing and the reflective, for profound composition and in-the-moment creativity. The wide-ranging repertoire on Faithful (named after the Ornette Coleman title track) includes five new tunes from the pen of Marcin Wasilewski and timeless pieces by Paul Bley and Hermeto Pascoal. From the standard repertory, the trio plays The Ballad of the Sad Young Men. Reaching beyond jazz, the players also find a new approach to Hanns Eisler’s An den kleinen Radioapparat.”

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Marcin Wasilewski Trio

At Amazon, the CD $14.88 April 12, 2011; the .mp3 album no information.

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François Couturier
Tarkovsky Quartet
ECM 2159

François Couturier piano
Anja Lechner violoncello
Jean Louis Matinier
accordion
Jean Marc Larché soprano saxophone

“The unique band founded by François Couturier continues to draw inspiration from the films of Andrey Tarkovsky as its frame of reference expands. Allusions to Pergolesi, Bach and Shostakovich are to be found in the compositions here, as are compelling group improvisations. As the Irish Times wrote of the earlier Nostalghia – Song for Tarkovsky album (recorded 2005): ‘ Mixing classical rigour with improvisation both formal and free, what emerges is austerely beautiful, etched in sombre hues and redolent of an unslakeable thirst to connect with a deeper well of the spirit.’ “

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François Couturier

At Amazon the CD $32.53 June 14, 2011;.mp3 album no information


New From ECM in March: Julia Hülsmann Trio “Imprint”

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Imprint
Julia Hülsmann Trio
ECM 2177

Julia Hülsmann piano
Marc Muellbauer double-bass
Heinrich Köbberling drums

“On the second ECM disc from the popular Berlin-based Julia Hülsmann Trio, the leader’s themes stand out in stark relief, as if stamped or printed into the surrounding improvisation. Imprint offers highly communicative jazz in which melody, clearly-etched melody, is paramount.

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Hülsmann is a gifted jazz-composer and there are surprises amongst her pieces here, including a powerfully-swinging Thelonious Monk tribute entitled Who’s Next. Bassist Muellbauer and drummer Köbberling also contribute intriguing tunes of their own, and this year’s offbeat cover version is a lilting Austrian Schlager tune from the 1940s, Kauf dir einen bunten Luftballon.

Releasing March 29, 2011

At Amazon the CD $15.77, the .mp3 album $9.49


From ECM: “Night Song” by Ketil Bjørnstad and Svante Henryson

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Night Song Ketil Bjørnstad, Svante Henryson
ECM 2108

Ketil Bjørnstad piano
Svante Henryson violoncello

Ketil Bjørnstad returns to the piano/cello duo, instrumentation which defined two of his best-loved albums, The River and Epigraphs with David Darling, back in 1996 and 1998. This new collaboration with Svante Henryson, however, tells a different story. As cellist, Henryson currently works in duos and trios with distinguished classical musicians including pianists Roland Pöntinen and Bengt Forsberg, clarinettist Martin Fröst, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and baritone Mikael Samuelson. ECM listeners, however, first heard him as a member of Jon Balke’s Magnetic North Orchestra on Kyanos (2001). In jazz contexts, he has also played in diverse formations with Tord Gustavsen, Marilyn Mazur, Nils Petter Molvaer, Arild Andersen and others. In rock and pop, he has collaborated with artists from Yngwie Malmsteen to Elvis Costello. In brief, he is an artistic polymath, rather like composer/improviser/author Bjørnstad himself. The music they create together – atmospheric, dark-hued, of melancholic temperament – is similarly beyond category.”

The CD at Amazon $15.77. The .mp3 album at Amazon $9.49
At Amazon 3.29.77


New Releases From ECM in March

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Mathias Eick Skala
ECM 2187

Mathias Eick’s intensely melodic trumpet occupies the centre-stage in this album of self-penned tunes which will appeal to an audience beyond “jazz”. Against the powerful backdrops offered by his sleek, modern band, driven by two drummers, he delivers richly lyrical soliloquies.
Available also as 180-gram vinyl LP.

Mathias Eick trumpet
Andreas Ulvo piano
Audun Erlien electric bass
Torstein Lofthus
drums
Gard Nilssen drums
Morten Qvenild keyboards
Tore Brunborg tenor saxophone
Sidsel Walstad harp

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Jörg Widmann Elegie
ECM New Series 2110

Composer portrait of Jörg Widmann (b 1973 in Munich) with two major orchestral works bridged by Fünf Bruchstücke for clarinet and piano. The Messe was composed in 2006, Elegie in 2005 while the Bruchstücke are amongst Widmann’s earliest published pieces, composed in 1997. On the Bruchstücke he is joined by another great composer/performer, Heinz Holliger, heard here in a recording debut as pianist. Widmann’s astonishingly agile clarinet dominates the Elegie with a range of expression embracing trills, multiphonics and microtones. Christoph Poppen directs the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie with customary élan.

Jorg Widmann clarinet
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie
Christoph Poppen conductor


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