ECM Recordings May 2011

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

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.”

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.”

Manfred Eicher

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.”