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mandrill

Your 10 (or 5, or 3) favorite ECM albums

129 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, David Ayers said:

Any takers for Tim Berne on ECM? Some musical ingenuity at work there and they have some snap and crackle. 

yeah; the records are strong, but seeing them live is something else...

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11 hours ago, David Ayers said:

Any takers for Tim Berne on ECM? Some musical ingenuity at work there and they have some snap and crackle. 

Really love the first 2 but have not been able to get into the Snakeoil configuration with guitar.

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Those covers...I have no idea what's up with that...does Eicher have vision problems, going blind, or something. They do seem evolving into darkness in a really...literal fashion,

 

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43 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Those covers...I have no idea what's up with that...does Eicher have vision problems, going blind, or something. They do seem evolving into darkness in a really...literal fashion,

 

Maybe Eicher simply owns the paintings.  Zappa did that a lot:

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R-637353-1501217550-2908.jpeg.jpg

?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3

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7 hours ago, JSngry said:

Bells-for-the-South-Side.jpg

Jack-DeJohnette-Made-In-Chicago-Final-Co

 

6 hours ago, JSngry said:

They're on ECM, that by definition makes them "ECM albums". And they're all within the last 5 or so years. I get how they (ECM) seem to have slipped into a "lull" for a good while, but I seem to have been buying more of their new releases over the last few years than I have in a loooooong time - and those Charles Lloyd records with Billy Higgins are great!

There are a lot of records on ECM. Including this one, which I find interesting, at the very least.

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It's interesting that out of 1.5K ECM titles you selected three that were not produced by Eicher.

I listend to that Dejohnette album only once, but I thought it was pretty weak with Dejohonette not fitting well with reeds players and predictable lazy solos from all involved.   

Edited by Д.Д.

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The question was about the label, not the producer.

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6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

The question was about the label, not the producer.

Well, I am not saying there is anything wrong with the answer. But I thought it's interesting that we are discussing an extremely prolific label known for its trademark sound created by a leader who produced 90% of its releases - and you select three albums that were not produced by this producer as your favorites.         

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Oh, I have other favorites, mostly "the usual suspects" from the first decade or so of the label. the "ECM sound" is one that was refreshing at the onset, but also one that evolved/devolved for my taste. And yeah, that's Eicher. But they continue to release records (and kudos to Eicher for, at least apparently, for putting a bunch of the buttloads of money he's made on Jarret/Metheny/Etc back into the label to keep making records), and some of them I've liked. Looking back a little further, I ver much like the Bley/Parker/Phillips record quite a bit as well. ANOTHER one not produced by Eicher!

OTOH, there's a good portion of that music that would not appeal to me no matter what kind of sound the record had. It's the music itself that does not engage, not the sound of the record. Which is not to say that some of the music I do like on the label would not engage me on a different(I'll not say better) level if the records sounded differently. But they don't, so hey.

Point just being, it's a deep catalog spanning 50 or so years. It's as wrong as it is easy to think of it all as one monolithic EicherSound.

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On 8/5/2020 at 8:57 PM, David Ayers said:

Any takers for Tim Berne on ECM? Some musical ingenuity at work there and they have some snap and crackle. 

I thought the first one was a little too "slick", but the 2nd/3rd/4th ones are GREAT.

Also, the two David Torn albums with Berne (Prezens, Sun of Goldfinger) are outstanding.  And out of the 3 Michael Formaneks, the 1st and 3rd one are superb.

On 8/5/2020 at 7:27 AM, mjzee said:

Art Ensemble of Chicago - Urban Bushmen

Love it!!!

20 hours ago, JSngry said:

OTOH, there's a good portion of that music that would not appeal to me no matter what kind of sound the record had. It's the music itself that does not engage, not the sound of the record. Which is not to say that some of the music I do like on the label would not engage me on a different(I'll not say better) level if the records sounded differently. But they don't, so hey.

Point just being, it's a deep catalog spanning 50 or so years. It's as wrong as it is easy to think of it all as one monolithic EicherSound.

And even among the more stereotypically "EicherSound"y records, there are some where it works fine and others where it IMHO damages the music.

BTW, my biggest gripe of all... why do we spend so much energy and time talking about ECM relative to Black Saint/Soul Note... or Pi... or Intakt... or... there are a lot of great labels out there actively recording & releasing music, some with a currently higher batting average.

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26 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

 

BTW, my biggest gripe of all... why do we spend so much energy and time talking about ECM relative to Black Saint/Soul Note... or Pi... or Intakt... or... there are a lot of great labels out there actively recording & releasing music, some with a currently higher batting average.

Maybe because it’s a thread about ECM?:ph34r:

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1 hour ago, porcy62 said:

Maybe because it’s a thread about ECM?:ph34r:

Black Saint would certainly make a good thread, although I'm enjoying this one. 

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Agree about the Snakeoil recordings after the first one - all are tremendous as they were not produced by Eicher. I believe David Torn did the sound. Son of Goldfinger with Torn & Ches Smith is also excellent. Any band with Ches Smith live up close & personal is usually great. Snakeoil live is very very good as Noriega sometimes doesn’t come across well on record. Matt Mitchell is brilliant.

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12 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

Black Saint would certainly make a good thread, although I'm enjoying this one. 

BS/SN never had any genuine hits like ECM had (several times over, actually) + it took them a while to get even halfass distribution/promotion in the US (at least where I lived...).

I have far more enthusiasm for far more of the SS/SN catalog than I do tor the ECM catalog, but if anybody's wondering why ECM seems to draw more attention, that's a good reason.

That, and, oh by the away, ECM si still a very active, productive label.

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41 minutes ago, JSngry said:

BS/SN never had any genuine hits like ECM had (several times over, actually) + it took them a while to get even halfass distribution/promotion in the US (at least where I lived...).

I have far more enthusiasm for far more of the SS/SN catalog than I do tor the ECM catalog, but if anybody's wondering why ECM seems to draw more attention, that's a good reason.

That, and, oh by the away, ECM si still a very active, productive label.

Definitely. There's a reason why record shops have dedicated ECM sections and not dedicated Intakt sections. 

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48 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

Definitely. There's a reason why record shops have dedicated ECM sections and not dedicated Intakt sections. 

A deeper catalogue and a wider appeal than most other labels, in fact probably all other independent labels.

It easy to criticise Eicher but what other label can boast recordings on a spectrum from Manu Katche to Schnittke with everything in between? 

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Well, not everything in between...

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There is also an Instagram account dedicated to going through the whole catalog: https://www.instagram.com/ecm_listening/

I came across this interview with Richie Beirach that blew me away. He describes what it was like working with Manfred, and how their working relationship eventually soured.

 

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1 hour ago, funkytonk said:

I came across this interview with Richie Beirach that blew me away. He describes what it was like working with Manfred, and how their working relationship eventually soured.

 

 

Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing that, funkytonk!!!

:tup:tup:tup 

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5 hours ago, funkytonk said:

There is also an Instagram account dedicated to going through the whole catalog: https://www.instagram.com/ecm_listening/

I came across this interview with Richie Beirach that blew me away. He describes what it was like working with Manfred, and how their working relationship eventually soured.

 

Thnx for sharing .... and welcome to the board ....

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7 hours ago, funkytonk said:

There is also an Instagram account dedicated to going through the whole catalog: https://www.instagram.com/ecm_listening/

I came across this interview with Richie Beirach that blew me away. He describes what it was like working with Manfred, and how their working relationship eventually soured.

 

This Interview confirms some thoughts I had about Manfred Eicher as a producer/personality.

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6 hours ago, mikeweil said:

This Interview confirms some thoughts I had about Manfred Eicher as a producer/personality.

Absolutely.  I really like how Beirach was able to convey both the positive and negative aspects of working with Eicher.  And neither of those aspects were negligible!  Eicher was tremendously helpful initially -- and tremendously closed-minded later.  A HUGE ego, for better and worse. 

You tell how much it hurt Richie -- still! -- that Eicher couldn't hear "The Snow Leopard."  He was emotional talking about it, even though it happened more than 40 years ago.  That was a powerful moment.

 

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A great interview.  Hearing Beirach talk in his Brooklyn accent (Wikipedia says he was born in “NYC,” but it sure sounds to me like Brooklyn) crystallized a perception I have about ECM: they drain the personalities out of the musicians.  It’s interesting that Eicher can’t relate to gutbucket blues.  It’s like sweat and passion, or at least American sweat and passion, are alien to him.  His perspective is more of the museum curator, or of the classical music aesthete.  He may want us to expand our perception of other musical cultures, but he can’t extend himself to feel R&B.  While ECM covers are often beautiful, what they rarely have are photos of the musicians.  This upcoming Dino Saluzzi album is an exception:

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The photo humanizes the album - it shows us the real person making the music.  Maybe, in the end, that's what ECM needs: less chilly distance, more real-person stuff.

Edited by mjzee

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ECM has stayed active and in business with the same owner longer than any jazz label. Ever. So I don't know that they really "need"anything.

Or I don't know, maybe they aren't a jazz label. Oh well! Kind of beside the point at this juncture. Lol!

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