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Jazz - Verschenen op 30 oktober 2020 | ECM

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On the 21st October, 2020, nine days before the release of Budapest Concert, Keith Jarrett revealed to the New York Times that he had fallen victim to two strokes in February and May of 2018. These unfortunately left him partially paralysed. "The most I'm expected to recover in my left hand is possibly the ability to hold a cup in it" lamented the 75-year-old pianist, who will likely never be able to perform again. In his vast discography there are many live recordings. For Jarrett, the concert recordings hold just as much value as those done in the studio, if not more...  On the 3rd July, 2016, the American was alone onstage in the Bela Bartok concert hall in Budapest. As is often the case for Jarrett, the material he plays here has no title and is instead divided into parts, here numbered from 1 to 12, just like on his Munich 2016 album which was released in November 2019 and recorded on the 16th of July 2016, a few days after his Budapest performance. For a Bartók fanatic like Jarrett, who on his mother's side is himself a great-grandson of Hungarian emigrants, this performance has a special flavour to it. Unsurprisingly, Jarrett's improvisational prowess is on show here, as well as his ability to make his piano swing like his elders and improvise in rhythmically and harmonically complex phrases with ease. A tsunami of notes (the middle of Part III draws from his 1977 Survivors' Suite) precedes a blues theme that has been reworked from scratch. A folkloric standard replaces an overtly classical construction. And so on and so forth. The parts don’t really communicate with each other but Keith Jarret’s ever fascinating style keeps the listener engaged with his sporadic stylistic decisions. As in Munich, this fusion creation closes with the standards It’s a Lonesome Old Town, popularised by Sinatra, and Answer Me, popularised by Nat King Cole. This is his way of reminding us where his heritage lies, even if it has been audaciously turned upside down here... An astounding new journey from Jarrett. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | ECM

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After a beautiful introspective debut for the label ECM, Avishai Cohen changes gears with his band Big Vicious. A unique cast around the Israeli trumpeter boasts two drummers (Aviv Cohen and Ziv Ravitz), an electric bass player (Yonatan Albalak) and a guitarist (Uzi Ramirez). This jazz-wielding quintet grew up with a thousand other sounds in mind. Hence this assembly of plural sound textures from electronic music as well as rock, classical, pop and trip hop. We are treated to big and improbably leaps, such as the one between Massive Attack and Beethoven, the two names whose works Big Vicious revisits (Teardrop and Moonlight Sonata). Avishai Cohen sometimes seems to be wearing the clothes of his elders Jon Hassell and Don Ellis. In particular, he tones down his leader's aura to let the quintet advance as one. It is precisely the homogeneity and atmospheric sound of Big Vicious that makes the whole original. And whether the compositions are trippy (Intent), uptempo (King Kutner) or downright experimental (Fractals), they share a real unique narrative force. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 januari 1975 | ECM

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Qobuz Referentie
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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 maart 1976 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For a first attempt, it's a masterstroke! Released in 1976, Bright Size Life was Pat Metheny's first record as a leader. Just 21 years old, the American guitarist already showed a real maturity as a virtuosic composer and performer. He joined forces with Jaco Pastorius on bass and Bob Moses on a flexible and dynamic drum kit. These ideal accomplices allowed him to develop what would later become his trademark sound: a fluid and often lyrical style. The wide, open spaces of his native Midwest were reflected in his guitar playing as well as in the track titles (Missouri Uncompromised, Midwestern Nights Dream and Omaha Celebration). A great wisdom emerged from this clear and beautiful album (Jim Hall's influence is evident) which closes with Round Trip/Broadway Blues, an unexpected medley of two pieces by Ornette Coleman, one of Metheny's idols, with whom he would go on to record Song X ten years later. But underneath this calm surface, this young virtuoso wanted to change the world. He explained this in an interview with Just Jazz Guitar in 2001: “Even though Bright Size Life may not sound like it, we were pissed off. That album is a very strong political statement from us on how we felt about what our instruments needed to do to remain relevant in jazz. Listening to it now, with 25 years of perspective, I think our message got across, I believe we did change things. That album was a manifesto of some very specific things that we felt strongly about, in terms of harmony, in terms of interaction, in terms of the sound of the instruments. You have to listen to that album to hear where we were at that time.” © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 12 juni 2020 | ECM

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Rather than contempt, familiarity breeds a comfortable groove on Swallow Tales, a shared vision for a group of notable tunes written by the venerable bass veteran Steve Swallow. This straight-ahead conversation between old friends and musical partners was recorded in a brief four hours; the result is a flavorful snapshot of a long and fruitful relationship now over 40 years old between guitarist John Scofield and his mentor Swallow. The pair is accompanied by Scofield's go-to drummer, the versatile Bill Stewart, whom the guitarist has played with in a number of different musical contexts. Energized by the easy charm of musical instinct, this session opens with one of Swallow's most beautiful ballads, "She Was Young," before shifting to "Falling Grace," where Stewart's natural and infallible rhythms support Swallow who sweeps into his signature broken time bass style. Scofield stretches out and shows his sense of invention and flair for concise solos in a fast take "Portsmouth Figurations," a tune he first heard on one of his earliest album influences, Gary Burton's Duster. The most famous number "Eiderdown," (also the first tune Swallow ever wrote and has been covered by the likes of Chick Corea, Bill Evans and Phil Woods), receives a spirited run through with Scofield, who says he once struggled to master these changes. He deftly travels up and down the guitar neck, preferring high notes, while Stewart takes an orderly, articulate solo. Another oft-recorded tune, the waltzy "Hullo Bolinas," is taken at a brisk pace while the bassist's playful borrowing from Cole Porter—"In F"—also features another measured, tasteful solo from Stewart. A reunion more interested in bringing fresh insights to well-known repertoire than pushing envelopes, Swallow Tales is the sound of masters at work. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 februari 2020 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
A sage piano stylist audibly influenced by Basie and Monk among others, Carla Bley has over the past 60 years also become one of jazz's preeminent composers. Originally influenced by '60s jazz avant-garde, Bley, as evidenced by her latest, Life Goes On, has fashioned her own jazz ethos—what ECM's Manfred Eicher has called her "radical originality." In jazz groups of any size longevity is often impossible as the essence of the music is often dependent on the potential of new combinations of talent, and yet a large part of Bley's recent success is keyed by her working trio of bassist/life partner Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard, who've been together for 25 years. Based around three suites—her most preferred form of composition—the lean and spacious Life Goes On is wonderfully confident and distinct. The opening movement of the title track is sly blues before turning to two parts that explore her trademark melodic mingling of classical music discipline and free jazz adventure. It concludes with "And Then One Day," where Bley holds down the rhythm with a repeated figure, over which Sheppard plays jaunty lines that have more than a whiff of Paul Desmond's cool tone. "Beautiful Telephones," based upon the current chief executive's comment about the Oval Office's exceptional phones, begins with Bley downshifting emotionally and exploring a more somber mood with Swallow plucking out his notes and Sheppard's tenor saxophone providing an equally unsettling counterpoint. In this work's final movement, the tempos pick up and her characteristic humor comes to the fore as she wryly quotes "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," and other patriotic hymns in a modern echo of her '70s composition, "Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Songs." The final suite, "Copycat" explores the hallowed jazz device of call-and-response as a conversation between three supremely accomplished players, whose clairvoyant togetherness shifts between agreeable and discordant. While it's right to applaud the current rush of praise for the fresh energies that youth are bringing to music these days, the deep wisdom and impeccable craft of a pioneer like Bley deserves to be equally acclaimed. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 26 juni 2020 | ECM

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Marcin Wasilewski has been a resident at ECM for sixteen years. And for 25 years, the Munich label has turned the Polish pianist and his trio of fellow countrymen (Slawomir Kurkiewicz on double bass and Michał Miśkiewicza on drums) into an intimate and pure workshop. To celebrate this anniversary, the band invited tenor saxophone giant Joe Lovano to their cosy fiesta. The American's lyricism, which is never raucous, is perfectly lined up in the piano inherited from Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett from the Polishman who always expresses himself economically. But it’s not only wisdom and recollection that we find here. Wasilewski knows how to be voluble and even unpredictable, like on the determined Cadenza, and even mysterious like his improvisations on Vashkar, the only cover on the record by Carla Bley. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 29 januari 2021 | ECM

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What if Trio Tapestry was one of the most crucial outfits in all of Joe Lovano's long career? A year after a first album for ECM, the Cleveland saxophonist has reunited with his two accomplices, pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi, for an even more moving recording. Upon the release of the first, Lovano had described this Trio as "a melodic, harmonic, rhythmic musical tapestry throughout, sustaining moods and atmospheres.” Trio Tapestry, above all, had all the hallmarks of a spirited piece of jazz. With this Garden of Expression, spirituality and calm once again underline each improvisation. Lovano, who writes all the compositions, is never a lider maximo but one third of a tightly-welded unit. A unique voice driven by a desire for purity. In what is unspoken, in the notes that are left unplayed, Crispell displays astounding precision. The depth of the playing of this unfairly underestimated pianist has rarely reached such a level. In terms of restraint too, Lovano blows a light wind of saving serenity in these turbulent times (the album is dedicated to the victims of Covid): a breeze that does good and is felt as a welcome pause for recollection. Wonderful. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 29 januari 2021 | ECM

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In 2018, Shai Maestro marked a milestone by joining the ECM team. After four albums animated by a certain grace that stamped his name on the contemporary jazz scene, the Israeli pianist, with excellent rhythmic accompaniment (the Peruvian Jorge Roeder on double bass and the Israeli Ofri Nehemya on drums) embarked once again on the path of vibrant stories-within-stories. Melodies inherited from the jazz repertoire but also from traditional oriental music or even Western classical music. Sources of inspiration like this great narrative tailwind are again summoned on Human, which was written with the same trio plus Philip Dizack, who brings a real personal touch. While taking care to digest the values of the trio, the American trumpeter brings this music closer to a certain classicism. It's a heritage that the Maestro has always kept in his sights and that he celebrates here with Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, the only cover on the album, or on Hank and Charlie, a tribute to Hank Jones and Charlie Haden. But it is the virtuosity – which is never ostentatious – of these four that impresses throughout Human. An impressive technique (GG) is put to work on the melody of the delicate (Compassion) and poetic (The Thief's Dream) themes on this record: themes all composed by the Maestro himself. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 29 mei 2020 | ECM

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If Benjamin Moussay’s name ever appeared on any ECM album covers it was always as sideman for Louis Sclavis, on his albums Sources, Silk and Salt on Melodies and Characters on a Wall. But with Promontoire, the 47-year-old has finally released an album for Manfred Eicher’s label that is entirely original solo material. Based in Munich, ECM Records already boasts an impressive number of major solo piano works, including the best-seller Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett, and Promontoire is now one of them. Moussay is a rather unassuming musician on the contemporary jazz scene, but those in the business have always recognised the clarity and strength of his playing. This includes Martial Solal, who said “He plays fair. Not too much, not too little”, but also an enormous list of musicians who have worked with him, including Sclavis, Archie Shepp, Dave Liebmann, Jean François Jenny Clark, Marc Ducret, Daniel Humair, Steve Swallow, Vincent Courtois, Michel Portal, Vincent Peirani, Youn Sun Nah, Airelle Besson and a few dozen others. He often plays in a trio (mainly with Eric Echampard and Arnault Cuisinier) but the solo piano pieces he performs here are timeless, characterised by simplicity, profound lyricism and improvisations with a strong narrative. Sensuality of the string’s vibration illuminating silence. Dance in its essence, solitary, unfolds with the flow of the internal rhythm. Elasticity of time, freedom of action, space, fleeting pleasure…Writing, infinitely reshuffling pretexts to the discretion of the instant. (…) Playing solo piano, I know the starting point and the destination. Mystery lies in the surprises of the journey”. This vision is a theme that flows throughout the twelve tracks on this album, which reveals a little more of itself with every listen. You can hear influences from all of his favourite musicians, from Thelonious Monk and Claudio Arrau to Lennie Tristano and Paul Bley, appearing and then disappearing before the melody takes over once again. Moussay always generates strong imagery with his melodies as he also composes music for film and theatre, but his work never sounds like music that has been churned out quickly without much thought or meaning behind it. Promontoire is particularly impressive during the more simplistic sequences (Villefranque and Monte Perdido), where Benjamin Moussay seems to say it all in just a few notes. This album proves that Less is more, yet again… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 11 september 2020 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
In 2018, Elina Duni went solo. Well, she put her name on an album cover and no one else’s. After leading a jazz-based quartet for two albums, the Tirana singer brought out Partir on ECM. The magnificent folklore and popular pieces were played on piano, guitar and percussion and evoked love as well as loss and bereavement. With Lost Ships, Duni continues her collaboration with the young British guitarist Rob Luft which began in 2017. The duo brings together songs of love, exile and suffering. They explore the world’s ills - from migration conflicts to ecological concerns - through truly moving melodies. It’s like a chamber symphony that mixes Mediterranean textures with jazz arrangements. Sometimes, the duo is joined by English pianist and percussionist Fred Thomas and Swiss trumpeter Matthieu Michel. Whether it’s a jazz ballad, an Italian song (Bella Ci Dormi), an Albanian folk tune (Kur Më Del Në Derë and N'at Zaman), a standard made popular by Frank Sinatra (I'm a Fool to Want You) or Charles Aznavour (Hier encore), these diverse sources are brought together by Elina Duni’s expressive voice. Sitting somewhere between a Balkans fado and European blues, it’s a voice that brings hope. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | ECM

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ECM is, without a doubt, the record label that enjoys blurring the lines between jazz and classical the most. So it’s hardly surprising that we find Anja Lechner and François Couturier on this album. Throughout Lontano they sculpt a sound with delicacy and finesse, using their respective experiences, travels, education and imagination to craft a superb borderless score. The German cellist and French pianist already worked together in 2014, linking East and West by revisiting themes by Gurdjieff, Komitas and Mompou. They also collaborated in the Tarkovsky Quartet and in the Il Pergolese project. Lontano’s repertoire is mainly original aside from a few glimpses of Johann Sebastian Bach, Henri Dutilleux, Giya Kancheli and Anouar Brahem (whose Vague - E la nave va was written with Couturier in 2006). Despite the mountain of references, Lechner and Couturier speak a language that is truly their own. It’s like a small chamber symphony nourished by classical, contemporary, folk and jazz music, as well as cinema and literature. Pure grace. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 19 maart 2021 | ECM

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Baring your soul can sometimes allow you to take stock. The pandemic also plays an obvious introspective role for artists cut off from their audience and the stage. With Entendre, recorded in Lugano in September 2020, Nik Bärtsch sets aside his various outfits (Ronin, Mobile) to find himself alone at the piano. Paradoxically, the Swiss musician finds great freedom in aesthetic restrictions, while seizing the opportunities to take his music to new horizons. That project developed in parallel with his group activities. For Bärtsch, key moments included celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the ECM label at Lincoln Center in New York in 2019, and his collaboration with artist and videographer Sophie Clements. Then there was his 2017 solo piano tour, which took him to Tehran, Alexandria, Cairo, Calcutta and Delhi, which sparked his reflection on the relationship between performance and ritual music in different cultures. Those elements and experiences fed into the preparatory work for Entendre…The numbered pieces entitled Modul, five of the six tracks on the album, seem more like models than fixed, definitive compositions. Bärtsch likens them to “a basic training in martial arts, which can be adapted to all sorts of situations. My way of working is to create new contexts. Each piece plays with the idea of composition, interpretation and improvisation, and is nourished by the same force, yet can create very surprising results”. That is apparent in Modul 58-12, which mixes two old compositions played in group formats, Modul 58 with Ronin on the album Awase (2018) and Modul 12 with Mobile on the album Continuum (2016). “It just developed in that direction in the studio. I didn’t plan it or expect it to open up in that way. The combination of these two pieces is maybe not a coincidence but more of an inner call”. Solo, Bärtsch doesn’t offer a classically jazz piano touch, his style rather intertwining chamber music, solo performance in the classical tradition, but also contemporary and minimalist stylings with a groove. Most interesting of all, Entendre may seem very cerebral but in fact delivers a decidedly carnal collection. It’s a long human adventure with a very narrative approach. At times lyrical, at others refined and minimalist, Entendre ultimately offers a palette as wide as life itself… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 27 april 1981 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 30 november 1975 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Qobuz Referentie
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Jazz - Verschenen op 12 februari 2021 | ECM

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Jakob Bro calmly continues on his way, making no waves, but still a guitarist who counts. Underestimated, little-publicised, but truly exciting. Sound, space, melody, silence: the Danish forty-something year old from the ECM crew has his own language, even though the influence of an elder musician like Bill Frisell appears here and there. It's a language that he takes on new paths, such as Uma Elmo, where he is accompanied by the Norwegian Arve Henriksen and Jorge Rossy from Spain. The originality of a guitar, trumpet, drums trio allows the melodies – all written by Bro – to develop in unexpected ways. Here, the three intelligently manipulate sound textures, keeping the serene ambience from seeming slick or even vain. Because this music, which alternates between meditative tracks and live sets, evokes strong emotions. It is as if we are caught in the ocean of sound in which Henriksen's trumpet sings a completely hypnotic siren song, Bro's guitar blows hot and cold, all punctuated by Rossy's stimulating rhythms. On Housework, the exchanges happen against the current, as in a dream, leading to a kind of unstructured jazz held together in a flow of electronic magma. Jakob Bro also salutes his forebears. To Stanko is a tribute to the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko who died in 2018 and who had welcomed him into his Dark Eyes Quintet. And Music for Black Pigeons is dedicated to the great saxophonist Lee Konitz, who died in 2020... We leave Uma Elmo exhausted. It's a good kind of mental tiredness. Physical, too. A demanding experience and a tonic, that constantly pushes the boundaries of improvised music. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 29 mei 2020 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 november 2020 | ECM

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Dino Saluzzi on record is rather uncommon, and Dino Saluzzi playing his bandoneon solo is even rarer.So, Albores is a real treat for aficionados of the Argentinian master. Recorded between February and June 2019 in his Buenos Aires studio, these nine tracks demonstrate how, even with the simplest of instruments, his music is an infinite wellspring of stories. A musical storyteller, Saluzzi renders the most intimate, even personal stories accessible to all. For example, he recounts the work of his composer father Cayetano Saluzzi on Don Caye and on Adiós Maestro Kancheli he pays homage to the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli who died in 2019 and whose repertoire he covered in 2010 on Giya Kancheli: Themes From The Songbook with Gidon Kremer and Andrei Pushkarev. More so than on his previous solo albums released under ECM such as Kultrum (1982) and Andina (1988), Albores completely breaks down the borders between Argentine folklore, jazz, contemporary music and improvised music. The minimalist soliloquies resonate his voice, and his bandoneon seems to play to the rhythm of passing time, drawing the contours of the end of a road that inevitably looms closer at the age of 85. Even in those moments of silence and space in the music, Saluzzi is as charismatic and untouchable as a bard. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | ECM

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In 2016 and then again in 2018, for his albums Rising Grace and Where the River Goes, Wolfgang Muthspiel surrounded himself with a five-star cast including pianist Brad Mehldau, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and bassist Larry Grenadier. It was enough to show those who still doubted the calibre of the Austrian guitarist that he was still able to draw the greats to his side... for his 2020 offering, this worthy heir to Mick Goodrick and Pat Metheny trims sail to record with double bass player Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. As his 2014 Driftwood already showed, this trio is a more powerful sounding board for Muthspiel, who alternates between acoustic and electric guitar. The precision of his phrasing, the melodic perfection of his writing (he signs seven of the nine tunes on the record) and the diversity of styles (be-bop with Ride, experimental on Solo Kanon in 5/4 played with a delay, contemplative on Camino) give birth to a contemporary jazz that is once again demanding formally as well as technically. Angular Blues is also a space of total freedom. And that feeling is even stronger on Everything I Love and I'll Remember April, the two unique standards of the album that the three men imbue from head to toe with a lot of ingenuity. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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