Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Manfred Eicher appearing in NYC - open to the public

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear Manfred Eicher (Producer and Founder of ECM Records)
in conversation with Gary Giddins (critic /author)

November 19th, Thursday, 6:30pm

Proshansky Auditorium
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Ave (at 34th St)
Information: 212/817.2005


Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records in 1969 specifically aiming to record jazz with great attention to sonic detail. Now 40 years later, the ECM catalog contains well over a thousand recordings of jazz, classical and world music from around the globe. The imprint is known for not only for the stellar musicianship of its roster and the clear, rich recorded sound, but also for remarkable artwork and graphics.
Gary Giddins is a critic and author widely recognized as a leading voice in jazz criticism.

Carla Bley – Carla’s Christmas Carols.

On November 3rd, ECM released its very first CD of Christmas music! Carla Bley, one of jazz’s greatest arrangers, turns her attention this time to a delightful collection of traditional and non-traditional seasonal fare which she’s titled: Carla’s Christmas Carols

Christmas music has been an enthusiasm of Carla Bley’s for decades, and the pieces she has chosen here are subjected to her offbeat wit and idiosyncratic arranging skills. Selections include “O Tannenbaum”, “Away In A Manger”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Jingle Bells”, “O Holy Night” and “Joy To the World”, plus Mel Tormé’s "The Christmas Song” and a brace of Carla’s own pieces – “Jesus Maria” (first recorded by Jimmy Giuffre back in 1961), and, giving the devil his due, “Hell’s Bells”.

You should be able to find this album in fine record stores but for your convenience click here to be linked to the correct page on Amazon.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New ECM release from Rolf Lislevand

Diminuito - a new recording by Norwegian master lutenist Rolf Lislevand will be released on October 27th.

‘The expansion and contraction of arranged and improvised elements allows the original Baroque material to breathe authentically in our own time, resulting in a phantasmagoria whose haunting effects are only accentuated by ECM’s beautifully spacious recording. … This disc rocks, albeit urbanely.’ William Yeoman, writing on ‘Nuove Musiche’ in The Gramophone

On Nuove Musiche, his highly successful ECM debut released in spring 2006, Rolf Lislevand led his own group of international early music virtuosi in ravishing and rather unorthodox accounts of mostly Italian instrumental music from the early Baroque. This new program of madrigals, chansons and virtuoso lute music based on Italian Renaissance sources from the 16th century, goes even further back…
Once again putting a strong emphasis on improvisation, Lislevand and his colleagues (including the delightful sopranos Anna Maria Friman and Linn Andrea Fuglseth from Trio Mediaeval) disclose the astounding modernity and emotional wealth in the music of composers such as Giovanni Antonio Terzi or Joan Ambrosio Dalza from the Veneto region of Italy where, at that period, strong influences of oriental and eastern music could be felt. Lislevand’s group translates this with a lush scoring for dark-hued instruments, both stringed and plucked.

On or after October 27th should be able to find this album in the fine record stores but for your convenience here is a link to the correct page on Amazon.com where, if you like, you can pre-order now.

New releases in October

Anouar Brahem
The Astounding Eyes of Rita
Release date: October 6
Anouar Brahem oud; Klaus Gesing bass clarinet; Björn Meyer bass; Khaled Yassine percussion

ECM brings a new album of warm, dark sounds and dancing, organic pulses from the Tunisian oud master, performed by his new band with German bass clarinettist Klaus Gesing, Swedish bassist Björn Meyer and Lebanese percussionist Khaled Yassine.

“Albums as perfect as this appear rarely…”
To read the rest of this excellent early review from the UK newspaper The Independent, click here

Egberto Gismonti
Release date: October 20
Camerata Romeu with Zenaida Romeu: conductor; Alexandre Gismonti: guitars ; Egberto Gismonti: guitars

Egberto Gismonti’s first new ECM recording in 14 years is a double-album that indicates the range of his artistry as both composer and guitar virtuoso. Disc one features Gismonti the composer in a 70 minute work that takes account of Brazil’s culture and history, landscapes and cityscapes, vividly evoked by Cuba’s all-women orchestra the Camerta Romeu. Disc two features Gismonti the guitarist in an exciting duo recital with his similarly-gifted son Alexandre, romping through a program that includes such well-known pieces as “Zig Zag”, “Lundú” and “Dança dos Escravos”.

Stefano Bollani Trio
Stone in the Water
Release date: October 27
Stefano Bollani: piano; Jesper Bodilsen: double-bass; Morten Lund: drums

An exceptionally beautiful piano trio album, Stone in the Water is the first of Stefano Bollani’s ECM recordings to feature his “Danish Trio” with bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund, a group that already has six years of playing experience behind it, and produces a sound that is supple, subtle, flowing.

You should be able to find these albums in the fine record stores but for your convenience here are links to the correct page on Amazon.com:

Brahem – The Astounding Eyes Of Rita.
Gismonti – Saudações.
Bollani – Stone in the Water.

New solo recording by Keith Jarrett

On October 6th, ECM released a new solo recording by Keith Jarrett - Testament, Paris/London.

Jarrett’s solo concert tradition continues with two highly creative performances of recent vintage – from Paris’s Salle Pleyel on November 26, 2008, followed by London’s Royal Festival Hall on December 1. The English date was Jarrett’s first London solo concert in many years and, in the words of one reviewer, “triggered the sort of ecstasy that might greet a returning prophet”. As with Radiance and The Carnegie Hall Concert, the music covers a wide arc of expression, as “that old Jarrett magic forges majestically on” (The Guardian).

You should be able to find this album in fine record stores but for your convenience here is a link to Amazon.com

Monday, September 14, 2009

New from ECM in September

kkk kk
John Abercrombie Quartet
Wait Till You See Her
Release date: September 8
John Abercrombie guitar; Mark Feldman violin; Thomas Morgan double-bass; Joey Baron drums

This is the fourth release by the Abercrombie Quartet which has become one of the most widely-admired groups in contemporary jazz. It is both a deeply swinging group and an adventurous one - with a range that can encompass everything from standards to bebop and from free play to chamber music. The quartet extends the jazz tradition yet there is a consistent warmth and humanity to the sound, always evident in the harmonic and melodic material that John writes for the group.

Release date: September 22
Jan Garbarek soprano and tenor saxophones; Rainer Brüninghaus keyboards; Yuri Daniel bass; Manu Katché drums

This is the first-ever live set from Norwegian star saxophonist Jan Garbarek who is on top form here. His group - an enormously popular touring band in Europe - powers through repertoire old and new. American fans will be delighted to get a chance to hear these fiery live performances.


Gary Burton and Chick Corea
Crystal Silence / The ECM Recordings 1972-79
4 CD set – release date September 8

The duo was a seldom-tested format in jazz when pianist Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton, at the instigation of Manfred Eicher, came together for “Crystal Silence”, but its luminous music proved a resounding success. This 4-CD box set reprises the history-making recordings Crystal Silence (1972), Duet (1978) and the live double album In Concert, Zürich, October 28, 1979 made for ECM at the beginning of the duo’s career. Both Duet and the Zürich recording won Grammy awards, and the duo has continued to make music together, for almost 40 years now. Two live selections appear on CD for the first time in this collection.

You should be able to find these albums in the fine record stores but for your convenience here is a link to the correct page on Amazon.com:

For John Abercrombie
For Jan Garbarek
For Gary Burton and Chick Corea

Tuesday, September 8, 2009




Kim Kashkashian’s new album is a carefully composed program addressing fascinating connections between three contemporary composers from Israel and Armenia.

NPR’s All Things Considered aired a wonderful piece by Robert Siegel. Click here to listen.

J.S. Bach: Six Partitas

András Schiff returns with a superb interpretation of Bach’s Six Partitas, recorded live in September 2007 at Neumarkt Reitstadl one of the best piano music venues in Europe. The cycle, which in 1731 was the first group of works to be published by Bach himself, represents a unique stylistic synthesis of the suite form with a particular emphasis on most varied and imaginative opening movements.

"vigorously played, beautifully recorded… his ability to sustain it through a performance of all six works in one sitting is extraordinary". - Allan Kozinn, New York Times

Paganini 24 Capricci

Thomas Zehetmair brings his formidable intelligence to performances of Paganini’s 24 Caprices – some of the most technically challenging music n the violin repertoire.

"These Caprices aren't just studies, or showpieces. They're improvised character pieces, so full of poetry and fantasy." - Thomas Zehetmair

You should be able to find these albums in the fine record stores but for your convenience here is a link to the correct page on Amazon.com:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

John Surman - new CD and performances in the USA

On August 4th ECM released Brewster’s Rooster a powerful, exciting, real "jazz" album, from the great British horn-player John Surman. Soulful ballads, hard-driving pieces and fiery improvisations show Surman at the top of his creative form on baritone and soprano saxophones, surrounded by an all-star cast featuring John Abercrombie, Drew Gress and Jack DeJohnette.. Surman - making a rare US appearance - will perform with this quartet later in the month. Not to be missed!

- August 27 – 29 in Washington DC, at Blues Alley
- September 1- 5 in New York at Birdland

You can see the band at work during the Brewster's Rooster recording session by clicking this link.

And the album can be ordered
at amazon.

Miroslav Vitous - Remembering Weather Report

Remembering Weather Report – a new album from bassist Miroslav Vitous was released on July 7th. According to Nate Chinen of the New York Times, Vitous “brings a rigorous sense of proportion to this album, exploring free-form terrain with the stateliest kind of boldness” and he calls it a “severely elegant album.”

Vitous was one of the founders of Weather Report and helped to shape its early (and revolutionary) mix of enigmatic, free-flowing compositions and high-level improvisational dialogues, in which all the instruments enjoyed parity. It is this formative period that Miroslav salutes with his all-acoustic band and some phenomenal playing.

You should be able to find this album in the fine record stores but for your convenience here is a link to the correct page on Amazon.com.

You can read the
entire New York Times review here.