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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 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 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 15 mei 2020 | ECM

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Having worked with ECM Records over several decades, Jon Balke is the epitome of the versatile musician. For example, in 2009, the Norweigan pianist, who is now 65 years old, embarked on a new adventure with his album Siwan, an international collective that blurred the boundaries between world music, classical music and jazz. In his latest release, Discourses, Balke returns to his solo work mixing soundscapes made of compositions, improvisations and what we now call “sound design”. He continues the methodology employed on Warp, the deeply introspective album he released in 2016, and develops it further. As is often the case with his piano music the songs are layered with disparate textures that are often acoustic but are sometimes electronic. The flowing melodies are interrupted at times with subtle dissonances and even unexpected sounds. The concept for this 2020 vintage originates from one of Balke’s very own ideas. The Norweigan based his work on various observations about language, viewing the notions of discourse and dialogue as fading concepts in light of the surge of rhetoric characterised by confrontation and conflict. “In this work I had the framework of language with me from the very beginning”, he says. “As the political climate hardened in 2019 with more and more polarized speech, the lack of dialogue pointed me towards the terms that constitute the titles for the tracks”. That being said, you don’t need this discourse in mind to enjoy this vast array of piano figurations which are delightful as they are. © 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 11 september 2020 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 18 september 2020 | ECM

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