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ECM Touchstones

Selailu 90 tuotteet
Image Open, To Love
One of the most influential recordings in the history of jazz piano, Paul Bley's solo album thoughtfully explores the compositions of Carla Bley and Annette Peacock.

Paul Bley piano

Recorded September 1972



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Facing You
Recorded November 1971


9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Conception Vessel
With ECM's encouragement drummer Paul Motian takes his first steps as project leader and composer, and an extraordinary album is realized.

Paul Motian, percussion
Keith Jarrett, piano, flute
Charlie Haden, bass
Sam Brown, guitar
Leroy Jenkins, violin
Becky Friend, flute

Recorded November 1972



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Solstice
Deutscher Schallplattenpreis winner 1976. A pooling of talent characteristic of ECM's first decade, with Garbarek, Eberhard Weber and Jon Christensen all responding creatively to the demands of Towner's compositions.

Ralph Towner, 12-string and classical guitars, piano
Jan Garbarek, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute
Eberhard Weber, bass, cello
Jon Christensen, drums, percussion

Recorded December 1974



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Image Gateway
John Abercrombie, guitar
Dave Holland, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded March 1975



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Image Pilgrim And The Stars, The
Enrico Rava, trumpet
John Abercrombie, guitar
Palle Danielsson, bass
Jon Christensen, drums

Recorded June 1975



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Image Gnu High
"Gnu High" was trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler's first for ECM, and Keith Jarrett's last session as a sideman: both deliver astonishing improvisations in a highly interactive quartet with Holland and DeJohnette, and Wheeler's writing is captivating.

Kenny Wheeler, fluegelhorn
Keith Jarrett, piano
Dave Holland, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded June 1975



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Sargasso Sea
Delightful introduction to the guitar duo of Abercrombie and Towner, whose strikingly different styles prove remarkably compatible. Towner: "With Abercrombie I can play as much as when playing solo and still get to ply my skills as accompanist."

John Abercrombie, electric and acoustic guitars
Ralph Towner, 12-string and classical guitars, piano

Recorded May 1976



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image New Chautauqua
4 AV 5 MÖJLIGA I BETYG I UPSALA NYA TIDNING

Pat Metheny, electric 6- and 12-string guitars, acoustic guitar, 15-string harp guitar, electric bass

Recorded August 1978



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Special Edition
The first version of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, which helped to alert the wider world to the talents of saxophonists David Murray and Arthur Blythe, won the Down Beat Readers' Poll Album of the Year award. Lively programme includes two John Coltrane covers and Jack's Dolphy tribute, "One for Eric".

Jack DeJohnette, drums, piano, melodica
David Murray, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Arthur Blythe, alto saxophone
Peter Warren, bass, cello

Recorded March 1979


9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image American Garage
Pat Metheny, guitars
Lyle Mays, piano, oberheim, autoharp, organ
Mark Egan, bass
Dan Gottlieb, drums

Recorded June 1979



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Great Pretender, The
Lester Bowie, trumpet
Hamiet Bluiett, baritone saxophone
Donald Smith, piano, organ
Fred Williams, basses
Phillip Wilson, drums
Fontella Bass, vocal
David Peaston, vocal

Recorded June 1981



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Image Kultrum
Dino Saluzzi, bandoneon, voice, percussion, flutes

Recorded November 1982



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Oregon
First ECM date for the Oregon quartet , pioneer band in the trans-cultural zone, in the original line-up with Ralph Towner, Collin Walcott, Paul McCandless and Glen Moore.

Paul McCandless, reeds, flute
Glen Moore, bass, violin, piano
Ralph Towner, guitar, piano, synthesizer
Collin Walcott, sitar, percussion, voice

Recorded February 1983




9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Children's Songs
"Man trollbinds lika mycket av denna skiva idag som när den först kom ut."
(Upsala Nya Tidning)

Chick Corea, piano
Ida Kavafian, violin
Fred Sherry, cello

Recorded July 1983



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Image First Circle
Pat Metheny, guitars, synclavier guitar, guitar synthesizer
Lyle Mays, trumpet, synthesizers, piano, organ, bells
Steve Rodby, acoustic bass, bass guitar, drum
Pedro Aznar, voice, guitar, percussion
Paul Wertico, drums, percussion

Recorded February 1984



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Image Duas Vozes
Egberto Gismonti, guitars, piano, flutes, dilruba, voice
Nana Vasconcelos, percussion, berimbau, voice

Recorded June 1984



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Image Song For Everyone
Shankar, 10-string double violin, drum machine
Jan Garbarek, soprano and tenor saxophones
Zakir Hussain, tabla, congas
Trilok Gurtu, percussion

Recorded September 1984



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Image Rambler
Bill Frisell, guitar, guitar synthesizer
Kenny Wheeler, trumpet, cornet, fluegelhorn
Bob Stewart, tuba
Jerome Harris, electric bass
Paul Motian, drums

Recorded August 1984



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Image Bass Desires
The bassist was the bandleader but the group's debut, Marc Johnson insisted "was really about the two guitarists" - Bill Frisell with his swathes of sound and unexpected sonic twists and John Scofield with his grittier urban jazz-blues approach.

Marc Johnson, bass
Bill Frisell, guitar, guitar synthesizer
John Scofield, guitar
Peter Erskine, drums

Recorded May 1985



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Image Trio Music, Live in Europe
Chick Corea, piano
Miroslav Vitous, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Recorded September 1984



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Image Standards Live
Keith Jarrett, piano
Gary Peacock, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded July 1985


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Image Power Spot
Jon Hassell, trumpet
J. A. Deane, percussion, alto flute
Jean-Philippe Rykiel, keyboards
Michael Brook, guitar
Richard Horowitz, keyboards
Brian Eno, bass
Richard and Paul Armin, RAAD electro-acoustic strings
Miguel Frasconi, flute

Recorded October 1983 and December 1984



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Somewhere Called Home
A milestone in the career of British singer Winstone, as she strips jazz standards to their emotional core and adds words of her own to tunes by Egberto Gismonti, Ralph Towner and Kenny Wheeler.

Norma Winstone voice
John Taylor piano
Tony Coe clarinet, tenor saxophone

Recorded July 1986



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Lookout For Hope
Memo from the heyday of the Downtown scene, an album from Frisell's first touring band, with cellist Hank Roberts, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Kermit Driscoll. All material by Frisell, except Thelonious Monk's "Hackensack".

Bill Frisell, electric and acoustic guitars, banjo
Hank Roberts, cello, voice
Kermit Driscoll, bass
Joey Baron, drums

Recorded March 1987



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Image Second Sight
Marc Johnson, bass
Bill Frisell, guitar
John Scofield, guitar
Peter Erskine, drums

Recorded March 1987



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Image Ecotopia
Trilok Gurtu, tabla, percussion
Paul McCandless, oboe, English horn, soprano saxophone, wind driven synthesizers
Glen Moore, bass
Ralph Towner, classical and 12- string guitars, piano, synthesizers, drum machine

Recorded March 1987



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Image Private City
The most popular of John Surman's multi-tracked solo albums, "Private City" includes music originally written for the ballet of the same name, premiered at Sadler's Wells.

John Surman, bass clarinet, recorders, soprano and baritone saxophones, synthesizer

Recorded December 1987



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Extensions
Down Beat Critics Poll Album of the Year 1989. Leader Holland guides Steve Coleman, Kevin Eubanks and Marvin "Smitty" Smith to some of their strongest performances on record.

Dave Holland, bass
Steve Coleman, alto saxophone
Kevin Eubanks, guitar
Marvin Smitty Smith, drums

Recorded September 1989



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image I Took Up The Runes
4 AV 5 MÖJLIGA I BETYG I UPSALA NYA TIDNING

Jan Garbarek, soprano and tenor saxophones
Rainer Brüninghaus, piano
Eberhard Weber, bass
Nana Vasconcelos, percussion
Manu Katché, drums
Bugge Wesseltoft, synthesizer
Ingor Ántte Áilu Gaup, voice

Recorded August 1990



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Image Conte de l'incroyable amour
Anouar Brahem, oud
Barbaros Erköse, clarinet
Kudsi Erguner, nai
Lassad Hosni, bendir, darbouka

Recorded October 1991



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Image Bye Bye Blackbird
4 AV 5 MÖJLIGA I BETYG I UPSALA NYA TIDNING

Keith Jarrett, piano
Gary Peacock, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded October 1991



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Image The Call
Tenorist Charles Lloyd has always had a gift for assembling great bands - like this one, with Bobo Sternson, Anders Jormin and Billy Hart. Ballads, including the beautiful "Memories of Duke", predominate.

Charles Lloyd, tenor saxophone
Bobo Stenson, piano
Anders Jormin, bass
Billy Hart, drums

Recorded July 1993



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Cloud Dance
Collin Walcott defined a corner of improvisation all his own with his unique approach to the sitar and tabla. When the newly-formed Gateway trio of John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette joined him for "Cloud Dance" the results were magical.

Collin Walcott, sitar, tabla
John Abercrombie, guitar
Dave Holland, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded March 1975



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Balladyna
Stanko's first for ECM, and a splendid introduction to the "predatory lyricism" that is the Polish trumpeter's stylistic trademark.

Tomasz Stanko, trumpet
Tomasz Szukalski, tenor and soprano saxophones
Dave Holland, bass
Edward Vesala, drums

Recorded December 1975



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Dreams So Real
One of vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton's best bands - with Steve Swallow and Bob Moses as the rhythm section, and the twinned guitars of Pat Metheny and Mick Goodrick out front - plays the music of Carla Bley.

Gary Burton, vibraphone
Mick Goodrick, guitar
Pat Metheny, electric 12-string guitar
Steve Swallow, bass
Bob Moses, drums

Recorded December 1975



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Full Force
4 AV 5 MÖJLIGA I BETYG I UPSALA NYA TIDNING

Lester Bowie, trumpet
Joseph Jarman, reeds, flute, gongs
Roscoe Mitchell, reeds, percussion
Malachi Favors Maghostus, bass, percussion, melodica, vocal
Famoudou Don Moye, sun percussion

Recorded January 1980



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Animato
John Abercrombie, guitar, guitar synthesizer
Jon Christensen, drums, percussion
Vince Mendoza, synthesizers

Recorded October 1989



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Image Batik
HÖGSTA BETYG I UPSALA NYA TIDNING

Ralph Towner, 12-string and classical guitar, piano
Eddie Gomez, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded January 1978



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Terje Rypdal / Miroslav Vitous / Jack DeJohnette
Terje Rypdal, guitar, guitar synthesizer, organ
Miroslav Vitous, double-bass, electric piano
Jack DeJohnette, drums

Recorded June 1978



9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Ballads
Paul Bley piano
Gary Peacock bass
Mark Levinson bass
Barry Altschul drums

Recording engineered by Tommy Nola, Nola Studios, NYC
Recorded 28 July 1967 (Side 1) and 31 March 1967 (Side 2)

Mixing engineer: David Baker
Produced by Paul Bley
Executive production by Manfred Eicher/ECM

Despite being a rather early ECM release, this all-Annette Peacock set already demonstrated the crystal clear recording and wide open spaces for which the label would come to be so well known. Throughout the long opener, ironically titled “Ending,” Bley handles most of the thematic legwork, while the Peacock and Altschul skitter across his ivory surface like ice skaters so skilled that they can stumble on cue. The title is multifarious. It is the ending of a turn; the ending not of a life, but of the fallacy of its fulfillment; an ending of circumstance; an ending of watersheds; an ending of all the things in this world that buy us freedom, only to spit it back in our face. Personally, I think Altschul steals the show here. It’s fascinating to hear a drummer soloing in such slow-moving surroundings. The lagging pace lends further prominence to his playing, underscoring far more than mere virtuosity. As the piece goes on, it trickles like water, perhaps cluing us in on the title’s central meaning: that is, the music’s own loss of energy and creative source, a broken dam letting out its final drops. This is incredibly restrained music-making by a trio we know can swing with the best of them. Next, we have “Circles,” which seems to sweep up the mess of a long-waged battle, all the while showing an immense amount of fortitude in dealing with the prospect of an unclear future. Lastly, “So Hard It Hurts” gives us a vivid sense of Annette Peacock’s compositional audacity and her unique way of turning gentility into pain, and vice versa. This time, Altschul is less cymbal-oriented and more focused on hitting the skins, providing ample room for Levinson’s own inspired fingerwork.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Piano Improvisations Vol.1
Piano Improvisations Vol. 1 is an album recorded by Chick Corea and released in 1971.




Released 1971
Recorded April 21 & 22, 1971 Ame Bendiksen Studio, Oslo, Norway
Label ECM
Producer Manfred Eicher

The album, along with its counterpart Piano Improvisations Vol. 2, was recorded over the course of two days in Oslo, Norway. The two albums in the Piano Improvisations series serve as a sort of bridge between Corea's other works in Circle and Return to Forever. The only musician featured on the album is Chick Corea on piano.

On the back cover of the album Corea writes, "This music was created out of the desire to communicate and share the dream of a better life with people everywhere

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Matchbook
Ralph Towner 12-string and classical guitars
Gary Burton vibraharp
Recorded July 26/27, 1974 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

A matchbook doesn’t typically provide a surface for lasting statements. On its flap, one scrawls a phone number, an address, or any other piece of information as ephemeral as the flames for which it is mass-produced. Such is not the case with guitarist Ralph Towner and vibraphonist Gary Burton. Instead, we get indelible marks of grace and humility, each a brighter spark at the wick of our attention.

Towner originals form the bulk of this project, of which the opening “Drifting Petals” is a quintessentially evocative example. Between his 12-string and Burton’s plaintive returns, we get an emotive handful of light poured directly into our ears. This combination recurs in an intimately redacted version of “Icarus,” which paves new avenues of understanding through one of Towner’s most popular compositions. Burton’s touch adds a metallic fervor that contrasts well with the softer piano version on the previous year’s seminal Diary. Twelve strings of bliss continue in “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.” In this delicate, dark arrangement, Mingus’s classic tune wilts into a devastating ending.

The album’s remainder gives us Towner in a more classical mode, thereby halving the number of strings at his disposal, but with no loss of distance. “Some Other Time” builds an enchanting synchronicity, throughout which both instruments connect and drift apart like memories and expectations. Burton’s plush chords give Towner’s fingers plenty of forgiving terrain. The two switch roles, as they often do, for their respective solos. “Song For A Friend” is a bleaker piece wrapped around a gentle persuasion. As an affirmation of beauty, it is sometimes painful, shaded by the same colors with which all relationships are rendered. Towner draws the album’s most endearing solo here across an ideal tidal accompaniment. A notable highlight is Towner’s buzzed introduction of the title track, achieved by weaving a matchbook into the strings of his guitar. This sets off a flurry of whimsical activity and attentive soloing, meshing in a tightly knit cloth that leaves no dangling thread.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Mountainscapes
Barre Phillips bass
John Surman soprano and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, synthesizer
Dieter Feichtner synthesizer
Stu Martin drums, synthesizer
John Abercrombie guitar
Recorded March 1976, Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

In his classic case study of Melanesian cargo cults, Mambu, anthropologist Kenelm Burridge introduced the concept of the myth-dream, which he reduces to “a series of themes, propositions, and problems which are to be found in myths, in dreams, in the half-lights of conversation, and in the emotional responses to a variety of actions, and questions asked.” According to Burridge, what makes any such cult successful is the immediacy with which its figurehead is able to articulate the myth-dream, unleashing a barely conscious longing to know and resolve that which lurks in our mental shadows. The resulting destabilization is a shared process of salvation. I dare to claim the music of Barre Phillips as providing that same function. It embodies a psychological imperative to bring into focus that which inhabits the half-light of our awareness, and fulfills that need through sound. The only difference is that, here, there is neither the promise of salvation nor of migration, but rather the simple need to soak in the immediate essence of wherever one may stand.

Mountainscapes is divided into eight parts of spirit-tugging magnificence, products of a mind that, though only cursorily represented on ECM, has done us a great service in recording his sounds for posterity. Mountainscape I hovers at the margins before unleashing a crackling free groove. The beautifully synthesized sounds and enthralling bass playing, not to mention an absolutely captivating soprano solo from reedman extraordinaire John Surman, give us a rich taste of resolution. It is an unexpected transition, one that jolts the heart into awareness every time. II is a quieter follow-up, enigmatic, peripheral. Like the myth-dream, it lingers just beyond our reach, baiting our desire to know it in full. III is an exquisite piece enhanced by organ and electronics. In IV, the bass becomes a huge rope hefted and swung like a mast cord in a seasoned shipmate’s hands before a saxophonic wind illuminates its sails. The drums never quite stand upright, crossing their feet instead in a continual swagger. V fades in with a synthesized arpeggio. Some sinuous bass notes and a stellar saxophone peek out from the woodwork here. The bass thrums like a groaning in the earth. Meanwhile, a synthesizer bubbles to the surface before fading into transfiguration. VI begins with a lavish wash of electronics embroidered by Phillips’s harmonic threads. It’s a short track, but for me the most effective on the album. VII begins with more pulchritudinous arpeggiation. The sax trails along, trying to place its footsteps in the same imprints as the bass trails not to far behind: the trio as mise-en-abyme. An electric guitar surprises us in the final part, wound by an enthralling sax to feverish heights and playing us out in a gentle finale.

In the end, this is music to be experienced rather than described. And so, I will stop trying.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image The Following Morning
Eberhard Weber bass
Rainer Brüninghaus piano
Members of Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra celli, French horns, oboe
Recorded August 1976 at Talent Studio, Oslo
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

The title of Eberhard Weber’s classic 1977 album is as evocative as they come. At once cryptic and expository, the image calls up a host of associations, plays of light and shadow.

“T. On A White Horse” establishes the album’s solemn mood as Weber’s distinctive electrobass springs to life against an aquatic electric piano. A small orchestral section weaves its way in, painting chromatic oboe lines onto a droning canvas of cellos. As the strings intensify, bass and woodwinds share a plaintive synchronicity. The bass holds its breath, cupping its hands around Brüninghaus’s delicate flame. Oboes carry their lilting harmony across the oceans, fading into the bell-like call of sunrise.

“Moana I” feels less like a journey with a goal and more like a testing ground for confluence. The orchestra sprouts like a forest through which Weber must limp on his way toward dawn. The piano’s melodic charge, however, helps to cut this tension. Once the French horns offer their own desultory commentary, morning light pours in. The electric piano buffs the music to a crystalline sheen while horns and winds work their way back into rest. They find their beds and sleep, having reached the summit of their dreams.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Watercolors
Pat Metheny guitars
Lyle Mays piano
Eberhard Weber bass
Dan Gottlieb drums
Recorded February 1977 at Talent Studio, Oslo
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

From the opening strains of Pat Metheny’s second album, we immediately know that we have a calming yet powerful journey ahead of us. The present company—among which keyboardist Lyle Mays, a Pet Metheny Group fixture, makes his first appearance—renders his characteristic combination of form and style into an instinctive wash of comfort. Mays’s pianism proves the perfect complement to the guitarist’s untainted sound. Just listen to the way he buoys the music in the opening title track, and his fluent solo in “River Quay,” and you will hardly be able to imagine the music without him. We get a lingering look at Metheny’s own abilities in “Icefire,” in which he solos on a cleverly tuned 12-string that lobs between solid chords and higher callings. Midway through, the music melts into its second titular half, flowering in a cluster of Ralph Towner-esque harmonics. “Oasis” introduces the harp guitar, a sympathetically strung instrument that shines in Metheny’s hands like the charango in Gustavo Santaolalla’s. A mournful electric sings at its center, ever shielded by an unrequited embrace of acoustics. Varied rhythms and bold chord changes animate its otherwise stagnant beauty. After these quiet submersions, we come up into air, and into light, with the beautiful “Lakes,” which positively glows with quiet ecstasies. Again, Mays broadens the edges to new waterlines, cresting like a wave that never crashes upon its thematic shores. A two-part suite proves a complex call and response with the self before the 10-minute “Sea Song” reprises the harp guitar for its swan song. The music here is beyond aquatic, and could easily have seeded a Ketil Bjørnstad project. Eberhard Weber’s smooth bass introduces the morning’s regular activities with the first rays of sunrise in countless awakening eyes, before rolling out once again, drawn back into the depths like the tide that gives them life.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image In Pas(s)ing
Mick Goodrick guitar
John Surman soprano and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet
Eddie Gomez bass
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded November 1978 at Talent Studio, Oslo
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

After guesting on three Gary Burton collaborations (The New Quartet, Ring, and Dreams So Real), guitarist Mick Goodrick broke out with his first album as leader—and what better place than ECM to open his art to its fullest, for this would be his last recording for the label. In Pas(s)ing consists entirely of Goodrick originals, save for the collectively improvised title cut, giving us an unassuming view of the thoroughly sanded figures that are his themes.

“Feebles, Fables And Ferns” is morning and dusk, a crepuscular confection wrapped in drums (DeJohnette), bass (Gomez), and tenor sax (Surman), and all tied with Goodrick’s sonic filaments. The latter’s airy, John Abercrombie-like tone is pensive and glows like embers. The bass is shallowly miked, making it seem an extension of the guitar. Its player often vocally anticipates his supporting lines, as in the lovely solo granted passage here. Surman’s equally mellifluous sound rolls off the tongue like a poem. “In The Tavern Of Ruin” continues the lush quartet sound, only this time with a brittle edge. Surman leads a slow procession of hooded figures before his soprano trails into Goodrick’s darkening clouds. Distant cries seize us as Surman again wraps his cosmic fabric around our ears. This makes “Summer Band Camp,” the album’s shortest track, all the brighter in its nostalgia. Surman smiles through his sound, as do all gathered, gently kissing the art into which they have grown. Gomez’s doublings add a chorused, rhythmic aphasia that foreshadows an ecstatic close. A tender bass clarinet lacquers “Pedalpusher” with molasses, sealing in an array of tactful changes which do nothing to obscure the phenomenal bass work therein. In closing, we find ourselves “In Passing,” which throbs with yielding yet intense sentiment. DeJohnette stitches a fine seam here, even as Surman cuts his thematic restraints in favor of more visceral forms of communication.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Sound Suggestions
George Adams tenor saxophone, vocal
Heinz Sauer tenor saxophone
Kenny Wheeler trumpet, fluegelhorn
Richard Beirach piano
Dave Holland bass
Jack DeJohnette drums
Recorded May 1979 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

The intensities of Mingus veteran George Adams (1940-1992) took their only dip in the ECM pool with Sound Suggestions. Bringing characteristic fire to every lick, Adams was a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced in his later quartet recordings with Don Pullen for Blue Note. Joined by a stellar cast of label veterans, Adams sets alight the fringes of our expectations. His tenor is so luscious in the opener, “Baba,” that we swear we’ve heard it before, the lingering soundtrack to some dream or distant memory. Kenny Wheeler’s flugel paints a high-reaching arc under which Richie Beirach (piano) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) spread their blanket of sand. A lyrical solo from Wheeler bleeds into an equally robust turn from Adams, ending with an exclamation mark. Uplifting themes abound in “Imani’s Dance,” each linked by a mid-tempo groove of finely honed horns. Though head-nodding solos all around make this one a winner, it’s an especially glorious vehicle for DeJohnette’s mastery at the kit. Each of his gestures is one of a base pair, linking into the perfect helix that is “Stay Informed.” Here, a robust tenor gene manifests itself in the album’s most enthralling flight, rendered all the more intense by Beirach’s majestic trails. Segueing into “A Spire,” we find wider spaces, across which both Adams and German reedman Heinz Sauer level their weary songs, all the while backed by chattering cymbals and a rolling snare. The bluesy “Got Somethin’ Good For You” serves up a healthy portion of the voice behind the mouthpiece. Though a knot in the album’s smooth grain, the track is enlivened by a whirlwind of horns.

The musicianship on Sound Suggestions is as tight as the walls at Sacasyhuamán. Adams’s strokes are bold and direct, each a snowflake bronzed and offered to time with ceremonial care. And let us not forget the extraordinary talents of Sauer, whose tenor also graces Adelhard Roidinger’s underappreciated gem, Schattseite. Surely, this is one of ECM’s hottest joints.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Divine Love
Wadada Leo Smith trumpet, fluegelhorn, steel-o-phone, gongs, percussion
Dwight Andrews alto flute, bass clarinet , tenor saxophone, triangles, mbira
Bobby Naughton vibraharp, marimba, bells
Charlie Haden double-bass
Lester Bowie trumpet
Kenny Wheeler trumpet
Recorded September 1978 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Engineer: Martin Wieland
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Wadada Leo Smith’s Divine Love is one of ECM’s most tantalizing jewels, the result of many years ignoring the label’s advances. I can only speculate this was because the immediacy of his craft might have been adversely affected by the interventions of any svelte postproduction. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, Eicher and company gave this effort all the space it needed to breathe, for breath is precisely what this imaginative session is all about.

Since 1970, Smith has been utilizing two systems of musical production: a) rhythm-units, which balance every note produced with an equivalent unit of silence, and b) ahkreanvention, an amalgamated method of “scored improvisation.” The album’s two bookends exemplify the former, while the latter animates the single piece at their center. This structure gilds the recording with a cyclical feel that deepens with every listen. Drifting through the waves of mallet percussion (courtesy of Bobby Naughton) of the title track, each cry materializes as a vessel of indeterminate origin until we lose ourselves in the eddy of “Tastalun,” where muted trumpets (Lester Bowie and Kenny Wheeler join in here) streak the music’s inner language with deep gashes of spontaneous intent. With “Spirituals: The Language Of Love,” we return to where the album began, sailing forth into waters at once opaque and teeming with unseen light.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
Image Aftenland

JAN GARBAREK & KJELL JOHNSEN: AFTENLAND (ECM 1169)
OCTOBER 1, 2011 | TYRAN GRILLO




Aftenland

Jan Garbarek tenor and soprano saxophones, wood flute
Kjell Johnsen pipe organ
Recorded December 1979 at Engelbrektskyrkan, Stockholm
Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

If improvisation is a form of meditation, then meditation is also a form of improvisation. In being at peace with what one plays, one lives it.

Jan Garbarek is, of course, one of ECM’s longest standing composers and saxophonists, yet he is first and foremost a spectacular improviser who often manages to reach farther than (I imagine) even his own expectations in touching new melodic concepts. Paired with the Spheres-like church organ of Kjell Johnsen, he plumbs the depths of spiritual and physical awareness in a way that few of his albums have since. Here more than anywhere else, he shapes reverberation into its own spiritualism, exploring every curve of his surrounding architecture, every carved piece of wood and masonry.

The title track opens with a viscous solemnity, ever in shadow, while “Syn” reaps even more intense crops from the ethereal harvest it has sown. A trio of miniatures clustered around the session’s center reaches even more intimately into its heartbeat. “Kilden” seems to drip from the chapel ceiling like a weeping fresco. Garbarek unveils the rare recorders for a more playful exchange in “Spill.” “Iskirken” grips the heart with its piercing keen, dividing cloud and rain with the light of grief that shines like no other in times of greatest darkness. Lastly, the hurdy-gurdy drone of “Tegn” strings a delicate safety net for Garbarek’s robust defenestration.

This album predates his later Officium project by fourteen years, but is in parts just as effective in its vaulted evocations of hidden chants and invisible voices. At times, it also reminds me of the Licht/Haino/Hamilton/MLW one-off, Gerry Miles, only with less turbulent folds.

9,95 € (11,95 €)
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