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Jazz - To be released November 5, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - To be released November 5, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released October 8, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - To be released October 29, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released October 8, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released October 8, 2021 | ECM

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On his first solo piano masterpiece, 2011's Avenging Angel, Craig Taborn added his voice to the proud ECM tradition of keyboard greats, a list that includes Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Paul Bley and especially Keith Jarrett. As a sideman with saxophonists James Carter and Chris Potter, a skilled player and composer of electronic music, and later a contributor in a variety of contexts led by jazz notables such as Paul Motian, Dave Holland and Bill Frisell, the Minnesota-born Taborn has fashioned one of the most spiritually rewarding and musically adventurous careers in jazz today. Besides his ability to contribute in various musical milieus, Taborn has two extra special musical talents: he's a master at the stiff, difficult (but wonderfully distinct) Fender Rhodes and he's an enormously talented free improviser who can sit at the piano and spontaneously create entire concerts such as Shadow Plays using tones, textures and his own seemingly limitless imagination to revel in kaleidoscopic discovery on solo piano. Produced by ECM's visionary founder Manfred Eicher and exquisitely recorded live at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Shadow Plays is the opposite of a passive listen. The ear is immediately drawn in by the profound silences and chiming single notes of "Bird Templars" and held rapt throughout these seven longish tracks by the ingenuity and prowess of Taborn's stream of consciousness creativity. Rarely has one man on one instrument produced this many sounds, this many ideas, tempos, echoes, sustained notes and multi-colored moods in a single program of recordings. Having stated in interviews that he's interested in trying to "extend boundaries" and how as an improviser he's both "creating and observing at the same time," he launches into the exuberant opening of "Conspiracy of Things," resorting to showers of single notes, repeated figures that rise and fall in volume, and dramatic strokes across the keyboard. And as a player who says he's interested in the avant-garde but yet likes to "swing," Tarborn manages in pieces here like the title track to create a precise intellectual exercise that is somehow also deeply personal, frenetically percussive and thoughtfully subtle. This is jazz in only the faintest of outlines. An acquired taste to be sure, Taborn's very individualistic shaping and invention of music is full of wit, wisdom and erudition: by any other name genius! © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 8, 2021 | ECM

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On his first solo piano masterpiece, 2011's Avenging Angel, Craig Taborn added his voice to the proud ECM tradition of keyboard greats, a list that includes Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Paul Bley and especially Keith Jarrett. As a sideman with saxophonists James Carter and Chris Potter, a skilled player and composer of electronic music, and later a contributor in a variety of contexts led by jazz notables such as Paul Motian, Dave Holland and Bill Frisell, the Minnesota-born Taborn has fashioned one of the most spiritually rewarding and musically adventurous careers in jazz today. Besides his ability to contribute in various musical milieus, Taborn has two extra special musical talents: he's a master at the stiff, difficult (but wonderfully distinct) Fender Rhodes and he's an enormously talented free improviser who can sit at the piano and spontaneously create entire concerts such as Shadow Plays using tones, textures and his own seemingly limitless imagination to revel in kaleidoscopic discovery on solo piano. Produced by ECM's visionary founder Manfred Eicher and exquisitely recorded live at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Shadow Plays is the opposite of a passive listen. The ear is immediately drawn in by the profound silences and chiming single notes of "Bird Templars" and held rapt throughout these seven longish tracks by the ingenuity and prowess of Taborn's stream of consciousness creativity. Rarely has one man on one instrument produced this many sounds, this many ideas, tempos, echoes, sustained notes and multi-colored moods in a single program of recordings. Having stated in interviews that he's interested in trying to "extend boundaries" and how as an improviser he's both "creating and observing at the same time," he launches into the exuberant opening of "Conspiracy of Things," resorting to showers of single notes, repeated figures that rise and fall in volume, and dramatic strokes across the keyboard. And as a player who says he's interested in the avant-garde but yet likes to "swing," Tarborn manages in pieces here like the title track to create a precise intellectual exercise that is somehow also deeply personal, frenetically percussive and thoughtfully subtle. This is jazz in only the faintest of outlines. An acquired taste to be sure, Taborn's very individualistic shaping and invention of music is full of wit, wisdom and erudition: by any other name genius! © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 24, 2021 | ECM

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When We Leave is trumpeter/composer Mathias Eick's fifth leader outing for ECM and his first since 2018's acclaimed Ravensburg. Recorded over two days in November 2020, his sidemen include violinist Håkon Aase, pianist Andreas Ulvo, bassist Auden Erlien, drummers Thorstein Lofthus and Helge Norbakken, and pedal steel guitarist Stian Carstensen. All but the steel player -- who has also worked with Eick before -- appeared on Ravensburg. The trumpeter composed all seven pieces here; they are each identified by a single-word title. Fans of Jaga Jazzist, Eick's other band, will need to adjust their expectations. These compositions reflect the trumpeter's long-held preoccupation with the murky spaces between folk music and modern European jazz. Opener "Loving" offers a drifting, moody piano playing elegiac chords that introduce a lithe lyric line played by trumpet and violin. The two lead instruments circle one another and gradually, as the drummers begin to exchange phrases and time signatures as accents for the frontline players, engage major and minor modes before Aase delivers a sumptuous solo complemented by fills from Ulvo. "Turning" is introduced by plucked violin and bass before piano, violin, and trumpet cascade in a languid, vamp-like melody. Eick's lyricism offers staggered cadences for doubled brass and string harmonies. They add levels of depth and dimension that resist easy classification. The trumpeter's solo, while brief, elevates the tune's entire dramatic premise. While "Flying" appears improvised initially, it opens to express a sparse, even skeletal piano melody that Carstensen and Eick hover over and dole out in single lines for the other players to improvise on. "Arvo," obviously inspired by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, commences with a wispy Gregorian chant feel as Eick's trumpet, wordless vocals, and Aase's spectral violin exchange phrases, lines, and a mode. The drummers then enter one at a time, followed by Erlien and finally Carstensen, who adds sweeping chord voicings and canny pedal work to elevate the entire proceeding texturally and dynamically. It actually approaches the orchestral until the drummer's snares engage in staggered, nearly martial breakbeat rhythms. "Playing" follows logically. Carstensen controls the tune's body as the two drummers speak in a somewhat urgent processional language. Eick and Aase converse along the economically notated lyric line. Closer "Begging" sounds like a benediction or an exit hymn. It's slow, atmospheric, and at once pastoral and regal. The delicacy in Eick's aching melody expressionistically weds the sacred and the natural worlds while the pianist walks out the changes as an affirmation, and both drummers employ brushes in painting the backdrop with whispering cymbals and snares. Carstensen and Aase speak directly to Eick's lyric solo, embellishing it with textured phrases and elongated octave notes. Eick's composing on When We Leave is muted yet rich, lovely, and sophisticated. He understands exactly how to write to this particular ensemble's strengths, and draws them out individually to express, along with him, longing and vulnerability. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 24, 2021 | ECM

Booklet
When We Leave is trumpeter/composer Mathias Eick's fifth leader outing for ECM and his first since 2018's acclaimed Ravensburg. Recorded over two days in November 2020, his sidemen include violinist Håkon Aase, pianist Andreas Ulvo, bassist Auden Erlien, drummers Thorstein Lofthus and Helge Norbakken, and pedal steel guitarist Stian Carstensen. All but the steel player -- who has also worked with Eick before -- appeared on Ravensburg. The trumpeter composed all seven pieces here; they are each identified by a single-word title. Fans of Jaga Jazzist, Eick's other band, will need to adjust their expectations. These compositions reflect the trumpeter's long-held preoccupation with the murky spaces between folk music and modern European jazz. Opener "Loving" offers a drifting, moody piano playing elegiac chords that introduce a lithe lyric line played by trumpet and violin. The two lead instruments circle one another and gradually, as the drummers begin to exchange phrases and time signatures as accents for the frontline players, engage major and minor modes before Aase delivers a sumptuous solo complemented by fills from Ulvo. "Turning" is introduced by plucked violin and bass before piano, violin, and trumpet cascade in a languid, vamp-like melody. Eick's lyricism offers staggered cadences for doubled brass and string harmonies. They add levels of depth and dimension that resist easy classification. The trumpeter's solo, while brief, elevates the tune's entire dramatic premise. While "Flying" appears improvised initially, it opens to express a sparse, even skeletal piano melody that Carstensen and Eick hover over and dole out in single lines for the other players to improvise on. "Arvo," obviously inspired by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, commences with a wispy Gregorian chant feel as Eick's trumpet, wordless vocals, and Aase's spectral violin exchange phrases, lines, and a mode. The drummers then enter one at a time, followed by Erlien and finally Carstensen, who adds sweeping chord voicings and canny pedal work to elevate the entire proceeding texturally and dynamically. It actually approaches the orchestral until the drummer's snares engage in staggered, nearly martial breakbeat rhythms. "Playing" follows logically. Carstensen controls the tune's body as the two drummers speak in a somewhat urgent processional language. Eick and Aase converse along the economically notated lyric line. Closer "Begging" sounds like a benediction or an exit hymn. It's slow, atmospheric, and at once pastoral and regal. The delicacy in Eick's aching melody expressionistically weds the sacred and the natural worlds while the pianist walks out the changes as an affirmation, and both drummers employ brushes in painting the backdrop with whispering cymbals and snares. Carstensen and Aase speak directly to Eick's lyric solo, embellishing it with textured phrases and elongated octave notes. Eick's composing on When We Leave is muted yet rich, lovely, and sophisticated. He understands exactly how to write to this particular ensemble's strengths, and draws them out individually to express, along with him, longing and vulnerability. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 10, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released August 27, 2021 | ECM

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Before he was able to carve out his own identity, Marc Johnson was known for many years as "Bill Evans' last bassist", a glorious gig which boosted his reputation and enabled him to launch the excellent group Bass Desires with John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Peter Erskine, a few years after Evans' death. What followed was a mixture of tasteful collaborations with people as eclectic as Mel Lewis, Jim Hall, Stan Getz, John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Enrico Pieranunzi and, his wife, Eliane Elias... At 67 years of age, Marc Johnson brought out Overpass, recorded in January and February of 2018 at the Nacema studio in São Paulo and co-produced with Eliane Elias. An entirely solo album for ECM, a label that is fond of solo records by double bassists. This is the kind of material that promotes introspection, and retrospection too. It is therefore not surprising that Overpass contains the Miles Davis standard Nardis, a cornerstone of Bill Evans' repertoire, as well as Alex North's Love Theme from Spartacus, another of the pianist's favourite compositions. Marc Johnson has written five original compositions, including Samurai Fly, a sort of facelift for Samurai Hee-Haw recorded in the past for ECM with Bass Desires and with John Abercrombie's trio. Each song follows on from the other with impressive flexibility. Johnson's full, rounded-out sound and the finesse of his timing help save us from four-string overdose. This type of solo exercise is hard to sustain across an entire album, but the American bassist always keeps a serious sense of narrative in mind, constantly developing new ideas and high-flying improvisations. Overall, it's impressive. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 27, 2021 | ECM

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At 81, master drummer Andrew Cyrille shows no signs of slowing down. He signed to ECM for 2016's brilliant quartet offering Declaration of Musical Independence, which included guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Richard Teitelbaum, and bassist Ben Street. For 2018's Lebroba, he delivered a trio outing with the guitarist and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Cyrille returns to the quartet format on The News, with Street, Frisell, and pianist David Virelles (replacing Teitelbaum, who died in 2020). The drummer, pianist, and bassist all worked together before on Virelles' masterful 2012 album Continuum. Cyrille's remarkable diversity and focus have been displayed with many leaders, from Coleman Hawkins and Walt Dickerson to Carla Bley and Cecil Taylor. While he is a sublime timekeeper, Cyrille is better known as a time stretcher and space maker. His playing trademark is not force or swing, but indelible presence. "Mountain" is one of three tunes that was penned by Frisell, whose impressionistic Telecaster allows melody to fall from a smaller palette of chord voicings that begin in a major key, then fall slightly outside as Virelles and Street embellish around and through them. Cyrille frames the tune with singing cymbal work, low-tuned snares, and tom-toms that find a dance rhythm in the minimal melody. In an exchange with Virelles during the pianist's solo, Cyrille moves underneath with layered cymbals and hi-hat to draw the music from ether to foreground. While the drummer acts as a textural investigator during the first half of Steve Colson's "Leaving East of Java," he becomes both interlocutor and engine during its second half, subtly yet insistently pushing the band forward. Frisell's Monk-esque blues "Go Happy Lucky" offers the guitarist soloing along the melody with Street, while Virelles and Cyrille flow together behind the groove. "The News" is a conceptual piece Cyrille initially cut during the 1970s as a solo percussion work. Here he places a newspaper over the snare and toms, then plays them with brushes. Frisell adds fragmented chords, and restrained yet rumbling distortion, while Virelles layers droning synth under his piano as Street alternates between single notes and bowed chords. The pianist's "Incienso" emerges from a minimal melody that weds Brazilian folk music and post-bop as the band creates a spacious groove in the margins. "Dance of the Nuances," co-composed by pianist and bandleader, loosely threads together ambient and experimental music with electronics around a haunting minor-key melody. Cyrille introduces the closer "With You in Mind" by reciting a tender poem. Virelles and Street enter in duo, framing the elegant yet elliptical balladic structure and harmony economically. Frisell and Cyrille enter halfway through. The guitarist expands the melodic invention as Cyrille adds hushed snare and cymbals, gently carving out space inside the lyric. As a whole, The News is a master class in the less-is-more approach to drumming as well as ensemble play. Brilliant. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 27, 2021 | ECM

Booklet
At 81, master drummer Andrew Cyrille shows no signs of slowing down. He signed to ECM for 2016's brilliant quartet offering Declaration of Musical Independence, which included guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Richard Teitelbaum, and bassist Ben Street. For 2018's Lebroba, he delivered a trio outing with the guitarist and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Cyrille returns to the quartet format on The News, with Street, Frisell, and pianist David Virelles (replacing Teitelbaum, who died in 2020). The drummer, pianist, and bassist all worked together before on Virelles' masterful 2012 album Continuum. Cyrille's remarkable diversity and focus have been displayed with many leaders, from Coleman Hawkins and Walt Dickerson to Carla Bley and Cecil Taylor. While he is a sublime timekeeper, Cyrille is better known as a time stretcher and space maker. His playing trademark is not force or swing, but indelible presence. "Mountain" is one of three tunes that was penned by Frisell, whose impressionistic Telecaster allows melody to fall from a smaller palette of chord voicings that begin in a major key, then fall slightly outside as Virelles and Street embellish around and through them. Cyrille frames the tune with singing cymbal work, low-tuned snares, and tom-toms that find a dance rhythm in the minimal melody. In an exchange with Virelles during the pianist's solo, Cyrille moves underneath with layered cymbals and hi-hat to draw the music from ether to foreground. While the drummer acts as a textural investigator during the first half of Steve Colson's "Leaving East of Java," he becomes both interlocutor and engine during its second half, subtly yet insistently pushing the band forward. Frisell's Monk-esque blues "Go Happy Lucky" offers the guitarist soloing along the melody with Street, while Virelles and Cyrille flow together behind the groove. "The News" is a conceptual piece Cyrille initially cut during the 1970s as a solo percussion work. Here he places a newspaper over the snare and toms, then plays them with brushes. Frisell adds fragmented chords, and restrained yet rumbling distortion, while Virelles layers droning synth under his piano as Street alternates between single notes and bowed chords. The pianist's "Incienso" emerges from a minimal melody that weds Brazilian folk music and post-bop as the band creates a spacious groove in the margins. "Dance of the Nuances," co-composed by pianist and bandleader, loosely threads together ambient and experimental music with electronics around a haunting minor-key melody. Cyrille introduces the closer "With You in Mind" by reciting a tender poem. Virelles and Street enter in duo, framing the elegant yet elliptical balladic structure and harmony economically. Frisell and Cyrille enter halfway through. The guitarist expands the melodic invention as Cyrille adds hushed snare and cymbals, gently carving out space inside the lyric. As a whole, The News is a master class in the less-is-more approach to drumming as well as ensemble play. Brilliant. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 27, 2021 | ECM

Booklet
Before he was able to carve out his own identity, Marc Johnson was known for many years as "Bill Evans' last bassist", a glorious gig which boosted his reputation and enabled him to launch the excellent group Bass Desires with John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Peter Erskine, a few years after Evans' death. What followed was a mixture of tasteful collaborations with people as eclectic as Mel Lewis, Jim Hall, Stan Getz, John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Enrico Pieranunzi and, his wife, Eliane Elias... At 67 years of age, Marc Johnson brought out Overpass, recorded in January and February of 2018 at the Nacema studio in São Paulo and co-produced with Eliane Elias. An entirely solo album for ECM, a label that is fond of solo records by double bassists. This is the kind of material that promotes introspection, and retrospection too. It is therefore not surprising that Overpass contains the Miles Davis standard Nardis, a cornerstone of Bill Evans' repertoire, as well as Alex North's Love Theme from Spartacus, another of the pianist's favourite compositions. Marc Johnson has written five original compositions, including Samurai Fly, a sort of facelift for Samurai Hee-Haw recorded in the past for ECM with Bass Desires and with John Abercrombie's trio. Each song follows on from the other with impressive flexibility. Johnson's full, rounded-out sound and the finesse of his timing help save us from four-string overdose. This type of solo exercise is hard to sustain across an entire album, but the American bassist always keeps a serious sense of narrative in mind, constantly developing new ideas and high-flying improvisations. Overall, it's impressive. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released July 16, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released July 16, 2021 | ECM

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Jazz - Released June 18, 2021 | ECM

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ECM in the magazine
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    Yonathan Avishai | One Cover One Word At the time of the release of "Playing the Room" in September 2019, we were lucky enough to talk to both halves of the duo who recorded the album. This time, it's the pianist Yonathan Avishai who g...
  • Avishai Cohen | One Cover One Word
    Avishai Cohen | One Cover One Word We had the opportunity to sit down with the Israeli trumpeter last year at the time of the release of "Playing the Room", the duo album he made with the pianist Yonathan Avishai. This One Cover One...
  • ECM turns 50!
    ECM turns 50! Manfred Eicher’s Munich-born music label celebrates half a century of jazz different from the norms, bringing the traditionally African-American genre to Europe and beyond…
  • Exclusive Qobuz interview with Anouar Brahem
    Exclusive Qobuz interview with Anouar Brahem We sat down with the Tunisian Oud player who released the elegant "Blue Maqams", an album with a jazz core, recorded with Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette and Django Bates...
  • Roscoe Mitchell, freely...
    Roscoe Mitchell, freely... The great free jazz saxophonist signs a demanding and impressive work ...