Search results for: ECM
Comments Off on Julia Hulsmann Quartet – Not Far From Here (ECM) CD
Not Far From Here introduces award-winning pianist Julia Hulsmann’s new group in which her long-time working trio with Marc Muellbauer and Heinrich Kobberling (together now for 17 years) is expanded to a quartet with the addition of Berlin-based saxophonist Uli Kempendorff.
In Kempendorff’s playing “both suppleness and unruliness are in ample supply”, Jazzthetik has noted, and he brings a fresh energy to the H lsmann group concept. Each member of the quartet brings in original compositions, with Julia herself contributing five pieces for the album. Repertoire is augmented by a timely cover of “This Is Not America”, David Bowie’s 1980s hit single (co-composed by Bowie, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays), which appears here in a quartet version and a solo piano variation.
Personnel: Uli Kempendorff (tenor saxophone), Julia Hulsmann (piano), Marc Muellbauer (double bass), Heinrich Kobberling (drums)
The Art Of Failing / Le Mistral / This Is Not America / Weit Weg / Streiflicht / Not Far From Here / No Game / Einschub / If I Had A Heart / Colibri 65 / You Don’t Have To Win Me Over / Wrong Song / This Is Not America (var.)
Comments Off on Maciej Obara Quartet – Three Crowns (ECM) CD
The half-Polish, half-Norwegian quartet led by fiery alto saxophonist Maciej Obara is gaining ground as one of the most exciting groups on the contemporary jazz scene.
Both the band and its ECM debut Unloved were awarded the Fryderyk Prize in Poland in 2018, and early in 2019 the Obara Quartet also took first place at the BMW Jazz Awards in Munich. Now comes the quartet’s second ECM album Three Crowns (named for the Trzy Korony mountains in Southern Poland). Its programme comprises six new pieces by Maciej and two free arrangements of
compositions by Henryk Gorecki (1933-2010), Three Pieces In Old Style (Part One) and Little Requiem for a Polish Girl.
This is the first occasion on which the Gorecki family – whom Maciej came to know while living in Katowice, the composer’s hometown – has encouraged interpretations of the music by improvisers. To these pieces Maciej Obara and bandmates Dominik Wania, Ole Morten Vågan and Gard Nilssen bring the intensity and focus that distinguishes their work in the vanguard of
contemporary jazz. Theirs is a special quartet with a layered and detailed sound, an alliance of highly individual players dedicated to the group work and able to find space for self-expression inside it.
Personnel: Maciej Obara (alto saxophone), Dominik Wania (piano), Ole Morten Vågan (double bass), Gard Nilssen (drums)
Three Pieces in Old Style (Pt. 1) / Blue Skies For Andy / Smoggy People / Little requiem for a Polish Girl “Tranquillo” / Vang Church / Three Crowns / Glow / Mr.S
Comments Off on Kit Downes – Dreamlife Of Debris (ECM) CD
Dreamlife of Debris carries forward the story begun on Kit Downes’s Obsidian (issued by ECM in January 2018), extending and developing its processes and core ideas.
But where Obsidian was (almost exclusively) a solo church organ album, part of Kit’s plan for Dreamlife was to put the organ in a broader context, and also to bring the piano into the larger compositional picture. Musicians in the project are primarily players with whom Downes has had long associations – saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, drummer Seb Rochford – and there is also a first musical encounter with Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus. “I was interested to see how bringing in different people would change the direction of the recording.”
The album – released in CD and LP formats – is drawn from sessions recorded at two UK locations – the 13th century church of St John the Baptist in Snape in the Suffolk countryside and St Paul’s Hall (a converted 19th century church) at Huddersfield University – where the musicians arrived to variously interact with Downes. The instrumentalists meet, as Downes puts it ,”in a space with no singular character”, with a dream-like ambience being created through overdubs and collage. Although the players do not come together as an ensemble, their appearance as individuals in changing constellations influences the direction of the shape-shifting music triggered by Downes’s improvising, arranging and composing.
Personnel: Kit Downes (piano, organ), Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone), Stian Westerhus (guitar), Lucy Railton (cello), Sebastian Rochford (drums)
Comments Off on Keith Jarrett – Munich 2016 (ECM) 2CD / 2LP
A solo concert from Keith Jarrett – recorded at Munich’s Philharmonic Hall on July 16, 2016, on the last night of a European tour – finds the great improvising pianist at a peak of invention.
Creating a spontaneous suite of forms in the moment with the assurance of a master builder – interspersing touches of the blues and folksong lyricism between pieces of polyrhythmic and harmonic complexity – he delivers one of his very finest performances. An attentive and appreciative audience hangs on every note, every nuance, and is rewarded with some tender encores including a magical version of “It’s A Lonesome Old Town”.
There is, still, nothing else like a Keith Jarrett solo concert. “Through a series of brilliant solo performances and recordings that demonstrate his utterly spontaneous creativity,” the Polar Music Prize committee noted a few years ago, “Keith Jarrett has simultaneously lifted piano improvisation as an art form to new, unimaginable heights.”
FORMAT: 180 gram double vinyl
Answer Me, My Love
It’s A Lonesome Old Town
Somewhere Over The Rainbow**
** CD ONLY
ECM CD: 7793748
Comments Off on Charles Lloyd – Voice In The Night (ECM) 2LP
Charles Lloyd’s sixth ECM album was both a departure and a homecoming for the Memphis-born and California-based tenorist, introducing new music and revisiting archive favourites – including the epic “Forest Flower”.
Released for the first time on vinyl.
With his “Scandinavian” band currently on hold, this is as close to an all- American unit as any band Lloyd has led since the 60s. (Dave Holland qualifies by now as an honorary American). ECM veteran John Abercrombie is in strong form throughout and the joyous beat of the great Billy Higgins keeps everything dancing, from the roots music of “Pocket Full Of Blues” to a sublime
cover of Strayhorn’s “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing”.
“Lloyd responds with some of his finest playing in years…He is aided enormously by his musical companions, an all-star ensemble if ever there was one… As musically appealing as it is commercially viable” – Don Heckman, L.A. Times
Personnel: Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone), John Abercrombie (guitar), Dave Holland (double bass), Billy Higgins (drums, percussion)
Voice In The Night / God Give Me Strength / Dorotea’s Studio / Requiem / Pocket Full of Blues: Island Blues / Little Sister’s Dance / Shade Tree / Mud Island
Homage / Forest Flower: Sunrise/Sunset / A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
Comments Off on Nils Petter Molvaer – Kymer (ECM) LP
Massive beats and throbbing grooves underpin the Norwegian trumpeter’s fiery solos in a project that forms a bridge between ECM’s improvised soundscapes and the brave new world of trip-hop, drum’n’bass, ambient/ illbient, techno, industrial, electronica and samples. Khmer topped the
German jazz charts, and Molvær’s band has been highly successful on the festival circuit…
Now released for the first time on vinyl, 180g with a free download code.
”[The album] draws from techno, drum ‘n’ bass, and ambient music, yet makes no attempt at dancefloor populism, instead concentrating on texture, abstraction and sound quality. Funky digital grooves are disrupted by shifting time signatures; weird natural sounds are rendered unrecognizable by treatments; Indo-Arabic rhythms threaten to get funky but remain joyously understated throughout. And on top of everything comes Molvær’s trumpet – lonesome, haunting and utterly majestic.” – John Lewis, Time Out
Personnel: Nils Petter Molvær (trumpet, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, samples), Eivind Aarset (guitars, treatments, talk box), Morten Mølster (guitar), Roger Ludvigsen (guitar, percussion, dulcimer), Rune Arnesen (drums), Ulf. W.Ø. Holand (samples), Reidar Skar (sound treatment)
Khmer / Tløn / Access / Song of Sand / On Stream / Platonic Years / Phum / Song of Sand II / Exit
Comments Off on Jan Garbarek – In Praise Of Dreams (ECM) LP
”In Praise of Dreams” issued for the first time on vinyl, features two musicians with whom the great Norwegian saxophonist shares some history – American-Armenian violist Kim Kashkashian and African-French drummer Manu Katché.
Released for the first time on vinyl.
Garbarek, Kashkashian and Katché span a lot of idioms between them, but the music sings with a focussed sense of purpose, in the context that Jan has shaped for it. If dreams are movies for the mind, the album is aptly titled – its atmospheres are evocative and decidedly ‘filmic’.
”From the very first track … the saxophonist serves notice that this is going to be a very different album to anything he has done before. The haunting electronically generated sounds seem to hang in the air like an early morning mist and are penetrated, like the early morning sun, by the sharp, almost crystalline definition of Garbarek’s saxophone, and, on subsequent tracks by Kashkashian on viola. The multiplicities of meaning conjured between them on pieces like “Knot in Time And place” or “Scene from Afar” take this album to a place where no Garbarek album has gone before. … A major statement, possibly among his finest, by a major artist.” – Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise
Personnel: Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano saxophones, synthesizers, samplers, percussion), Kim Kashkashian (viola), Manu Katché (drums)
As seen from above / In praise of dreams / One goes there alone / Knot of place and time / If you go far enough / Scene from afar / Cloud of unknowing / Without visible sign / Iceburn / Conversation with a stone / A tale begun
Comments Off on Manu Katche – Neighbourhood (ECM) LP
Released for the first time on vinyl.
”Manu Katché, who leads this relaxed supersession featuring trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and saxophonist Jan Garbarek, is the kind of drummer who can’t not groove. On Neighbourhood he adds propulsion to the kind of chamber jazz that too often floats in a musical soup of formless percussion. He makes a beautiful sound on his kit, too, and meshes nicely with pianist Marcin Wasilewski and double bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz on the opening track. … Neighbourhood is a thoughtful, feelgood jazz album that harks back to the traditions of modern jazz while remaining contemporary – thanks to Katché‘s inventive drumming.” – John L Walters, The Guardian
”Katché‘s writing is a beguiling blend of understatement and emphasis, his harmonic sensibilities simultaneously European, African and African-American. In other words it’s easy to imagine anybody from Karin Krog to Bobby McFerrin or Omar Pene singing these very lyrical pieces. … They have a glow that doesn’t quite heat up as some American jazz does. In other words Katch , whose performance on the kit has all of the rhythmic and textural finesse one expects of him, has fashioned a sound that epitomizes the global, intercontinental, access-all-areas reality of contemporary jazz.” – Kevin Le Gendre, Echoes
Personnel: Jan Garbarek (saxophones), Tomasz Stanko (trumpet), Marcin Wasilewski (piano), Slawomir Kurkiewicz (double bass), Manu Katché (drums, percussion)
November 99 / Number One / Lullaby / Good Influence / February Sun / No Rush / Lovely Walk / Take Off And Land / Miles Away / Rose
Comments Off on Susanne Abbuehl – Compass (ECM Touchstone) CD
Part of the Touchstone series
Compass is a voyage at many levels: through music and text, with images evoking the freshness of sea air and the colours of wildflowers. A voyage through polar extreme of jazz – from Chick Corea to Sun Ra, through folk song in the slipstream of Luciano Berio, through poetry of James Joyce and William Carlos Williams.
Also a journey through subtly undulating chamber music, improvised and otherwise. Through it all, Susanne Abbuehl’s cool, undemonstrative-yetstrangely- mesmeric voice is the unifying factor. She sings and speaks and whispers directly into the listener’s ear: an intimate, ‘interior’ voice, singing like thinking aloud. Recorded 2003 and 2004.
Personnel: Susanne Abbuehl (voice); Christof May (clarinet, bass clarinet); Michel Portal (clarinet); Wolfert Brederode (piano); Lucas Niggli (drums, percussion)
Bathyal / Black Is The Color… / Where Flamingos Fly / Lo Fiolaire / Sea, Sea! / Don’t Set Sail / The Twilight Turns From Amethyst / Primrose / Bright Cap And Stramers / A Call For All Demons / Children’s Song No. 1 / In The Dark Pine-wood
ECM Touchstone 6743530
Comments Off on Paul Motian – Tribute (ECM Touchstone) CD
Part of the Touchstone series
The combination of Paul Motian and Charlie Haden was always a guarantee for magical improvisational interaction, and there is much of it in this attractive line-up with the twinned guitars of Sam Brown and Paul Metzke and Carlos Ward’s alto sax.
Motian and Haden had previously collaborated with Brown on Keith Jarrett’s Expectations album and on Carla Bley’s Escalator Over The Hill, and the bassist and drummer had also worked with Carlos Ward on Don Cherry’s Relativity Suite. Paul Metzke joined up with Motian after stints with Gato Barbieri’s band and Tony Wiliams’s Lifetime. The team moves sensitively through Motian’s tunes, Haden’s “Song for Che”, and Ornette Coleman’s “War Orphans”.
Down Beat: “A landmark in the career of an outstanding percussionist… 5 Stars”. Recorded 1974.
Personnel: Carlos Ward (alto saxophone); Paul Metzke (guitars); Sam Brown (guitars); Charlie Haden (double bass); Paul Motian (drums, percussion)
Victoria / Tuesday Ends Saturday / War Orphans / Sod House / Song For Ch
ECM Touchstone 6743479