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This Moment's Glory With ECM Records

Posted by Rick Frystak, March 4, 2012 05:56pm | Post a Comment
ECM Records has always been one of my favorite labels, peerlessly rich in variety and deeply honest with it's mission and intent of quality. I remember my first ECM LP was an unplayed white-label promo copy of Terje Rypdal's What Comes After, which really set me up to fall in love and get on board with the vision of Manfred Eicher, the label's owner and director. The sound on that record, with it's reverberant, creamy echo and crystal clear, dissonant music and the impression it made on me shall never be forgotten (and I can revisit it at will). Was this Jazz music? Rock? Classical? I didn't care at all to label it, only to consume as much as possible of this new sound, and start down the path to discovery of each title I could find in my town and towns around Los Angeles.

Of course, I didn't love everything that the label released, but I always listened with very open ears. Just the cover art direction alone still fascinates me and is the subject of multiple design books. Manfred has also become the preeminant Classical music producer since I've been a listener, not an easy coup, resulting in a perfect fit with his sound and the composer's vision. It still applies that ECM is a creative energy second to none with no cliches, no boundries, and no borders as to what can be done within it's domain, Year after year, which totals over 40 now, the ECM label has been there for me, re-igniting my passion for music, and with a quality like no other.

Here, fellow travellers, are some of my favorties of this moment's newest CD releases form this wonderful treasure. Click on the titles to see if they are available for purchase at Amoeba.com.

And what's your favorite ECM release?

Visit www.ecmrecords.com

Boris Yoffe 
Boris Yoffe
Song of Songs
ECM 2174

Mr. Yoffe writes impressive volumes of music and this record unveils his lovely genius in the form of exquisitely floating, pensive and dissonant sound for string quartet and 4 voices. Integrating many short pieces assembled to form substantial moods and direction, Yoffe is, to my ears, a major “new” composer of interest. Hovering harmonic heaven in an audioworld somewhere stylistically between Takemitsu and Gesualdo.



Enrico RavaEnrico Rava Quintet

Tribe
ECM 2218

Italian trumpeter Rava triumphs once again with this set of gorgeous, bubbling Euro-jazz spirit. Haunting yet accessible. Nostalgic yet cutting-edge melodic storytelling with jabbing, sensuous improvisation. Pianist Giovanni Guidi astounds with his sensitive, harmonic chops. Unique rhythm-section affects equal innovations of the very memorable sort. Mr. Rava never ceases to impress as he continues to write his own legend.  5 stars.


Gurdjieff Folk Intruments Ensemble Gurdjieff Folk Intruments Ensemble
Music of Georges I.Gurdgieff
ECM 2236
Fascinating and sonically splendid collection of late 19th century spiritual music performed by this wonderful 15-member group.  Ethnic potpourri ascending to heights imagined by the composer, with ouds, duduks, santur, tar, saz etc. The flowing continuity of all this with the simplicity of Gurdieff’s composition is entrancing.  Pass the kif.




Stefano Battlaglia Stefano Battlaglia Trio
The River of Anyder

ECM 2011

Stefano delivers a modal style, like a mini-raga, on his piano as this trio pushes and pulls around him to create a glorious coming-together of emotions. The nuance and attention to each sound give this music a unique, spellbinding style. Interplay between the trio fuses the sound into one entity. 5-star sound.




Ricardo Villalobos Ricardo Villalobos/Max Loderbauer
Re:ECM
ECM 2-CD 2011/12

An amazing record. The guys took titles in the ECM catalog, and cut them up and sliced and diced them into new pieces of their own with only said ECM catalog as their sound sources. Small dramas play out with mystery and intelligence. What's that sound? And that? One of the best ambient/concrete/ electronica records I've ever laid ears on. The bar has been reset.



Keith Jarrett Rio Keith Jarrett
Rio
ECM 2-CD 2198/99

Keith's in love, and he calls his sigificant other each night before he steps on stage. It shows, as this is one of his best solo piano records he's ever played. ECM rushed it out so we could dig it and I do very, very much. Supreme chops, style, world wisdom, jass knowledge, all in a dramatic improvisation. Breathtaking. Go here.


Relevant Tags

Manfred Eicher (1), Classical (23), Classical Music (29), Gurdjieff (1), World Music (118), Keith Jarrett (1), Electronic (16), Ricardo Villalobos/max Loderbauer (1), Stefano Battlaglia (1), Enrico Rava Quintet (1), Ambient (2), Ecm Records (1), Boris Yoffe (1), Jazz (116)