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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.

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