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Jazz - Verschenen op 22 mei 2009 | ECM

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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 12 februari 2016 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 23 oktober 2007 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 3 november 2017 | ECM

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In 2009, Jon Balke, who’s been a resident at the ECM label for several years, embarks on the Siwan adventure, an international collective created in order to make the boundaries between world music, classical music and jazz sway. Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui and American trumpet player Jon Hassell are then among its copilots… Eight years later, the Norwegian pianist revives this adventure by placing his exceptional instrumental forces at the service of a new voice, the one of Algerian singer Mona Boutchebak. With Siwan – Nahnou Houm, Balke and his musicians highlight the links between Arab music, Andalusian classical music and European baroque music that have ignited the sextagenarian Norwegian’s imagination when he started this project. To bring these sound scenes even closer, he set about putting into music Al Andalus’ poetry, reflecting an era of coexistence between the three great monotheistic religions. The strength as well as the singularity of Siwan is to never present itself as a historic project but on the contrary as a really contemporary swerve, delivered by an association of strong-minded musicians, putting their talents at the service of a singer deeply rooted in Arab traditional music. © CM/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 21 oktober 2011 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 22 juni 2012 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 13 mei 2002 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 15 mei 2020 | ECM

Booklet
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 30 augustus 2004 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 22 mei 2009 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 februari 1992 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 april 1994 | ECM

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Jazz - Verschenen op 3 november 2017 | ECM

In 2009, Jon Balke, who’s been a resident at the ECM label for several years, embarks on the Siwan adventure, an international collective created in order to make the boundaries between world music, classical music and jazz sway. Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui and American trumpet player Jon Hassell are then among its copilots… Eight years later, the Norwegian pianist revives this adventure by placing his exceptional instrumental forces at the service of a new voice, the one of Algerian singer Mona Boutchebak. With Siwan – Nahnou Houm, Balke and his musicians highlight the links between Arab music, Andalusian classical music and European baroque music that have ignited the sextagenarian Norwegian’s imagination when he started this project. To bring these sound scenes even closer, he set about putting into music Al Andalus’ poetry, reflecting an era of coexistence between the three great monotheistic religions. The strength as well as the singularity of Siwan is to never present itself as a historic project but on the contrary as a really contemporary swerve, delivered by an association of strong-minded musicians, putting their talents at the service of a singer deeply rooted in Arab traditional music. © CM/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 12 februari 2016 | ECM