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ECM Touchstones

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Was Molde Concert the first recorded Bill Frisell, or did something come before it? I need to give that one a spin tonight.

It may be.

Molde is Aug 81, Motians Psalm is Dec 81.

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Was Molde Concert the first recorded Bill Frisell, or did something come before it? I need to give that one a spin tonight.

It may be.

Molde is Aug 81, Motians Psalm is Dec 81.

There were several before these according to this discography page:

http://www.bryanaaker.net/pre1983.html

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Leaving out the "European/American" aspects I simply personally feel I might enjoy hearing some of the ECM catalog in a different "sonic" signature. Sometimes the sound doesn't always serve the music to my hearing. I understand others may hear it differently.

I can see that as the case with music in the American, urban tradition (which may or not be played by Americans - I suspect that most jazz made in Europe is still in that tradition).

But there's a lot on ECM that, to my hearing, because of the very nature of the music actually benefits from that spacious acoustic. To take a non-European as an example, most Ralph Towner's recordings.

I can see why this might not appeal.

(Afterthought - I'd suggest a fair bit of the music on ECM is actually composed/created with that house acoustic deliberately in mind. In much the same way as church composers compose music with the acoustics of a large, echo-y building in mind, actually making a virtue of those acoustics. I'm thinking particularly of John Surman (who started in music not in a sweaty basement jazz club but in a church choir!) or some of Kenny Wheeler's music (especially those multi-tracked things he does that don't sound a million miles from the sort of baroque instrumental passages you hear in Monteverdi or Handel).)

**************

'Drum Ode' is readily available over here. It's even on iTunes.

Edited by Bev Stapleton

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Was Molde Concert the first recorded Bill Frisell, or did something come before it? I need to give that one a spin tonight.

It may be.

Molde is Aug 81, Motians Psalm is Dec 81.

There were several before these according to this discography page:

http://www.bryanaaker.net/pre1983.html

Thanks! Alot of stuff I've never heard of before there.

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I forgot about the Weber album plus there's a few I never heard of. I didn't realize Kermit was playing with him so early.

.

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Leaving out the "European/American" aspects I simply personally feel I might enjoy hearing some of the ECM catalog in a different "sonic" signature. Sometimes the sound doesn't always serve the music to my hearing. I understand others may hear it differently.

I can see that as the case with music in the American, urban tradition (which may or not be played by Americans - I suspect that most jazz made in Europe is still in that tradition).

But there's a lot on ECM that, to my hearing, because of the very nature of the music actually benefits from that spacious acoustic. To take a non-European as an example, most Ralph Towner's recordings.

I can see why this might not appeal.

(Afterthought - I'd suggest a fair bit of the music on ECM is actually composed/created with that house acoustic deliberately in mind. In much the same way as church composers compose music with the acoustics of a large, echo-y building in mind, actually making a virtue of those acoustics. I'm thinking particularly of John Surman (who started in music not in a sweaty basement jazz club but in a church choir!) or some of Kenny Wheeler's music (especially those multi-tracked things he does that don't sound a million miles from the sort of baroque instrumental passages you hear in Monteverdi or Handel).)

**************

'Drum Ode' is readily available over here. It's even on iTunes.

See, we're just different because I would love to hear the Towners without that signature sound. . . .

Ah well, I'm just not going to, and that's okay, there's plenty of other things to listen to. After the seventies, ECM sort of fell out of my listnening rotation with the eception of Jarrett. Partly I think it's an lp vs. cd thing; ECM is less impressife to me on cd. I almost entirely listen to cc.

Edited by jazzbo

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See, we're just different because I would love to hear the Towners without that signature sound. . . .

Ah well, I'm just not going to, and that's okay, there's plenty of other things to listen to. After the seventies, ECM sort of fell out of my listnening rotation with the eception of Jarrett. Partly I think it's an lp vs. cd thing; ECM is less impressife to me on cd. I almost entirely listen to cc.

I completely respect that viewpoint, Lon. In a way we're saying the same thing - different experiences, backgrounds, listening sets us up with different expectations.

I've read so much of the 'ECM is cold, soulless etc' expressed as some sort of absolute, by critics/posters on both sides of the Atlantic(I know that is far from what you are saying). I think a lot of listeners have been conditioned into equating the emotional signifiers of American (and especially black American) music as being what amounts to emotion in music. When it's missing in music that owes at least some of its roots to American popular (meant in the widest sense) music there is an immediate assumption that emotion is lacking.

What is actually happening is that different signifiers are at work.

I don't think I've ever been moved by Chinese music. That doesn't mean that Chinese music lacks soul - it just means I lack the background to pick up, even unconsciously, on what moves an audience steeped in that tradition.

I'd say the adverse reactions to the ECM label are often based on a similar lack of connection.

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Probably often. And sometimes it can be the very sound. In my case it's the very sound in a lot of ECM instances. Sound that I think I connect to better on lps than on cds. And in some cases it's the music itself though not necessarily because of a lack of "American" roots. Sometimes it's attitude or intent. I mean. . . I don't like the Lloyds on ECM much. And it would be wrong to say that this did not contain elements of black music. But the vibe, mood, attitude doesn't touch me (and more often than not I would say seem "insincere" to me, don't ask me why, it's an emotional response). Conversely there is quite a large segment of music from Europe outside of ECM that is very "non-American" and that I really can enjoy.

Chalk a lot of it up to having so so so much to listen to and waning interests in some types of music.

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I ordered DeJohnette's "Special Edition" which I've never heard/owned in any format.

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I like the European stuff, along the lines of Tomasz Stanko. I can do without the embarrassing Moosewood Cookbook/hippie aesthetic of the American ECM artists. And I'm a vegetarian.

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These are all great, well worth getting

Jack DeJohnette - Special Edition

Dave Holland Quartet - Extensions

Keith Jarrett - Facing You

John Abercrombie / Dave Holland / Jack DeJohnette - Gateway

Paul Motian - Conception Vessel

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I ordered DeJohnette's "Special Edition" which I've never heard/owned in any format.

it is awesome

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That 1st Gateway album has some crazy strange guitar on it. :tup

I'll have to give it another listen. I think I got it as a cut out when it came out!

.

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At Borders today I picked up Jarrett trio Standards Live, DeJohnette Special Edition, and the Kenny Wheeler Gnu High. Total of $20 and change with the 40% Borders coupon. These are definitely budget reissues, it's a non-remastered disc in a very thin cardboard sleeve with the original album art printed on it. Not even a digi-pak. Good, cheap way to get a lot of this music that I didn't have a chance to get the first time around.

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thats dissapointing to hear these aren't remastered and in thin crappy packaging. I'm going to see Jack DeJohnette/Pat Metheny/Larry Grenadier friday night in Woodstock, maybe I'll have Jack just sign "Saudades" by Trio Beyond instead, thats one of my favs.

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thats dissapointing to hear these aren't remastered and in thin crappy packaging. I'm going to see Jack DeJohnette/Pat Metheny/Larry Grenadier friday night in Woodstock, maybe I'll have Jack just sign "Saudades" by Trio Beyond instead, thats one of my favs.

Saudades is one of my favorite recent ECM discs too. Yeah these reissues are packaged in cardboard so flimsy that I bent two of them just taking the shrinkwrap off!

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wow, and I've always thought of ECM as being refined in presentation, looks like I'll have to buy more slim jewel cases. I think "Saudades" is the album I would use to show someone why Jack is one of the greatest drummers in the world, and I think when this decade is up it will be among one of the best jazz albums this decade.

Edited by CJ Shearn

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wow, and I've always thought of ECM as being refined in presentation

You wouldn't want to dilute the brand. :wacko: Something has to give when a CD that routinely sells for $17.99 is reissued with a $9.99 price tag. I think ECM is just setting us up for the inevitable hi-rez download/subscription service.

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Maybe they're assuming that most people are purchasing the music, taking it home, and ripping it to their hard drive. The only time they ever play the disc is in the car on the way home.

I remember being seven or eight years old. My aunt made me a mix tape. I became curious about what music my parents had around the house. I am still blown away that there was a collection of lps in a cabinet under the stereo. All of them had been played once... as they were being dubbed to cassette for the car stereo.

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wow, and I've always thought of ECM as being refined in presentation

You wouldn't want to dilute the brand. :wacko: Something has to give when a CD that routinely sells for $17.99 is reissued with a $9.99 price tag. I think ECM is just setting us up for the inevitable hi-rez download/subscription service.

I hope so. I'm surprised they haven't moved more quickly that way.

Given that ECM packaging amounts to nothing more than some nice photos I'd prefer to buy that way. Other labels have shown how the artwork can accompany the downloads.

I threw out all my jewel boxes six months back, putting the CDs/booklets in PVC sleeves. Saves space and, to be honest, I find the jewel boxes look a bit clunky now.

I've obtained a few ECMs from iTunes and had no issue with the sound. I'm sure higher resolution options (like Chandos do) should deal with the concerns of those with more sonically sensitive ears than mine.

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I think that Cary is onto something, and I also think they have this as a response to the market. Someone browsing may purchase for 10 bucks something they wouldn't for 15 or 17 . . . and not complain about lack of packaging which has never amounted to much with ECMs. Slick move I would say, possibly successful.

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The first batch of those 'Touchstones' have just appeared on e-music!!!!!!

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ECM1006.jpgECM1013.jpgECM1164.jpg

OOP!

A complete list of out-of-print titles on the ECM and JAPO labels, with personnel listings and recording dates.

Edited by 7/4

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that trovar site is a really neat little site

Gradually over the last few years I have battled to try to find as many of the ECM titles as possible and I wish this Touchstones series had been around years ago. Same with other labels. Much nicer that not having it, much nicer than downloading it as well.

As for bad packacing it stands to reason at the price. I wish a more sustainable option than jewel boxes had been pursued along way back. That way I could have snuck more cds on the same old shelves....as it was I tried getting cheap Japanese Blue Note Mini lps when I could to thin things out a little so I could get some more!...however that policy backfired when it was discovered to be a ruse to get more cds per shelf :(

ECM have to move fast as there are many sites that offer most of their catalogue to download. This way and with the beautiful book they released earlier this year Horizons...I am still captivated

Edited by andybleaden

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The first batch of those 'Touchstones' have just appeared on e-music!!!!!!

Apparently not available in the U.S. (yet?).

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