Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Jazz - Released October 7, 2016 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 15, 2016 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released May 8, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released May 8, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
One of the best recordings for Keith Jarrett's mid-'70s American quartet (whose style differed sharply from its European doppelgänger), The Survivors' Suite opens with Jarrett's aching, breathy sigh on the bass recorder, evoking the sound of a horn somewhere across a great expanse of fog. Percussion soon punctuates the melodic line to give the opening a more spiritual, ritualistic feel, which is only the first of many mutations that this album will go through. Divided into two parts, entitled "Beginning" and "Conclusion," this suite effortlessly flows between its movements which range from fiery free jazz to open, meditative atmospheric pieces showing heavy input from indigenous musics to instrumental solos that owe a sylistic debt to the music of the previous decade. Jarrett has strong solos in both the first and second track, but his performances rise to the surface frequently to add warmth to the suite. The greatest contribution that he makes on this album, however, is as a composer, as its complex components seem to nestle together seamlessly again and again, even if the solos occasionally rapidly expand and contract with kinetic energy. As strong a hand as Jarrett has in this album, however, he definitely owes a debt to his supporting players, especially the passionate Dewey Redman and skilled Paul Motian, but Charlie Haden plays an important role in the execution of the suite as well, even if only to provide a skeleton to hang the more fluid elements on. Like other albums of its time, this was beginning to show the brightness, lightness, and soft edges of contemporary jazz, but the solidness of Haden's bass helps keep it rooted and earthbound. ~ Stacia Proefrock
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Jazz - Released November 28, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released January 24, 2014 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released September 6, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released February 17, 2012 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio - Stereophile: Recording of the Month
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Jazz - Released August 20, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 29, 2010 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Six trio selections by the Stanley Cowell Trio, featuring Stanley Clarke on bass and Jimmy Hopps on skins. Elastic and flowing best describe the mellow "Maimoun"; Cowell's crisp keyboarding is determined and feisty, and Clarke's dark, moody bass solo consummates the excursion. Cowell and Clarke display amazing technique on "Ibn Mukhtarr Mustapha," and Hopps' impressionistic drumming is head clearing. On "Cal Massey," Hopps plays as if he has four hands with a drumstick in each, Cowell's rolling piano chords are matched in fever by Clarke's bass work. "Miss Vicki" has a stalking beginning, and Clarke's bass preys like a big cat on the LP's most commercial track. The spacing is remarkable on "Emil Danenberg" and gives Clarke ample room to work his magic between Cowell's pensive playing that becomes bolder as the song progresses. An invigorating finale, "Astral Spiritual" finds each player exploring seemingly different territory keeping the listener in a tizzy trying to take it all in. Cowell composed all the material, and Manfred Eicher coordinated this pleasing production. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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Jazz - Released January 30, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released November 4, 2008 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released November 4, 2008 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The first (and mightiest) of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition ensembles offered a sound that in many ways was revolutionary in modern contemporary and creative improvised music circa 1980. With firebrand alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe and enfant terrible tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist David Murray bobbing, weaving, and counterpunching, DeJohnette and bassist Peter Warren could have easily stood back in deference to these heavyweight pugilists. The result was a vehicle by which DeJohnette could power the two with his two-fisted drumming and play piano or melodica when the mood suited him, while Warren could simply establish a foundation for all to launch their witty, extroverted, oftentimes boisterous ideas into the stratosphere. The recording starts off very strong with two definitive tracks. "One for Eric," perfectly rendered in the spirit of Eric Dolphy, has Blythe and Murray's bass clarinet taking off, flying, and then soaring. Their contrasting tart and sweet sounds merge beautifully, and not without a smidgen of humor. "Zoot Suite" sports a great 4/4 bass groove with quirky accents, while Blythe's alto and Murray's tenor repeat a head-nodding line, then Murray's sax chortles like a cow, then they float over DeJohnette's melodica, and on the repeat line the drummer powers the band to the finish line. Both of these tracks are as complete, fully realized, and utterly unique as any in modern jazz, and deserve standards status. But John Coltrane's visage is not far behind on the peaceful "Central Park West," with DeJohnette again on the underlying melodica, while "India" has DeJohnette leading out on a playful Native and Eastern Indian motif via his piano playing. Blythe and Murray literally weep on the alto and bass clarinet. The finale, "Journey to the Twin Planet," is a free-based improvisation, with Blythe's squawky alto and Murray's long-toned tenor with overblown harmonics held in mezzo piano range, and DeJohnette's melodica evincing an electronic stance. A craggy, wild, and free bop idea provides a bridge (or maybe wormhole) to a calmer, supposed other planet. While there are no extra tracks on this recording -- and they would be welcome -- this first version of Special Edition stands alone as one of the most important and greatest assemblages of jazz musicians. This LP deserves a definitive five-star rating for the lofty place it commands in the evolution of jazz toward new heights and horizons. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released August 25, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released October 9, 2000 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released May 8, 2000 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released June 2, 1998 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Thimar is a most impressive collaboration between Brahem, soprano saxophonist/bass clarinetist John Surman and double bassist Dave Holland which superbly fuses the traditions of jazz with those of Arab classical music, pushing the parameters of both while succumbing to the clichés of neither. ~ Raymond McKinney
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Jazz - Released September 8, 1997 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Khmer is surely the most unusual album ever released by ECM -- unusual because the label, which is best known for elevated chamber jazz, presents the solo debut of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer as a production that plays with modern electronica methods while not eschewing the well-known ECM aesthetic. Molvaer's music is somewhere between scary and majestic, and changes between ominous ambient sounds and hard breakbeats, along which atonal screeching guitars combined with melancholic melodies, create a fascinating mélange. Above all this thrones Molvaer's trumpet: lyrical, hectic, calm and sad, trembling and screaming. Molvaer is one of the most progressive and intelligent voices in jazz today, and with Khmer he's recorded one of the best jazz albums of the '90s. Two CD singles were released in addition to this album. The first, "Khmer: The Remixes," contains three remixes of Khmer songs (an ECM novum, too), from Rockers Hi-Fi among others; the second, "Ligotage," offers a new track and another remix. The first CD single was included in the U.S. release of Khmer. ~ Christian Genzel
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Jazz - Released June 10, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released June 28, 1993 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard