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  • richardmitnick 3:36 PM on April 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From ECM: New Jazz Releases 

    New from ECM

    sk

    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.”

    bh
    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.”

    sr

    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.”

    as
    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.”

    no

    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.

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  • richardmitnick 3:26 PM on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    From ECM – New Releases in March 2012 

    New from ECM

    i1
    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.”

    ij
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:08 PM on January 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    New From ECM This Month 

    New from ECM

    tw
    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.”

    sn
    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.”

    tl
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:15 PM on December 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    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.

    i1
    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.

    i2
    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.

    i3
    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

    i4
    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.

    .i1
    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.”

    i6
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:42 PM on November 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    New From ECM- Keith Jarrett “RIO” 

    i1
    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.”

    i2

     
  • richardmitnick 8:34 PM on October 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    New From ECM Three Releases 

    New from ECM

    i1
    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.”

    iu

    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??”

    ir
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:40 AM on October 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    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.

    i1
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:34 AM on October 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From ECM New, This Fall, Four Releases 

    i1
    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.”

    ts
    Toshio Hosokawa

    i2
    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’.”

    rg
    Natascia and Raffaella Gazzana

    i3
    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

    i4
    Gidon Kremer Edition Lockenhaus
    ECM New 2190

    gk
    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.”

     
  • richardmitnick 5:50 PM on October 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    New From ECM for the Fall 

    New from ECM

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

    i1
    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.”

    i2
    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’.”

     
  • richardmitnick 6:05 PM on September 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    From ECM: Chick Corea Stefano Bollani “Orvieto” 

    New from ECM

    i1
    Chick Corea, Stefano Bollani Orvieto
    ECM 2222 (9.27.11)

    Chick Corea piano
    Stefano Bollani piano

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    Chick Corea

    sb
    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.

     
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