GA Russell

ECM Press Releases for New Items

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3 hours ago, Guy Berger said:

ECM is apparently issuing a late 1990s gig of the Bley/Peacock/Motian trio.  Woohoo!

good news

 

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Areni Agbabian

Bloom

 

Areni Agbabian: voice, piano

Nicolas Stocker: percussion

Release date: April 26, 2019

ECM 2549                              

B0029232-02                         

UPC: 6025 675 2590 5

 

Areni Agbabian casts a quiet spell with her art, as an improvising vocalist, folk singer, storyteller and pianist. Her voice has been described as “bell-toned” by The Guardian and “lush” by theLos Angeles Times, the music she creates with it “intensely focused, moving toward some kind of hidden truth,” according to The New York Times. Agbabian’s ECM debut, Bloom, has a richness that belies its spare ingredients: just her evocative voice and piano, along with the subtly ingenious percussion of Nicolas Stocker (who was last heard on ECM with Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile ensemble). Born and raised in Los Angeles into an Armenian family, Agbabian came to international attention via performances and recordings with groups led by Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan. Bloom draws deeply on the singer’s Armenian heritage, as she reinterprets sacred hymns, a traditional spoken-word tale and a dark folk melody transcribed by the great Armenian composer and ethnomusicologist Komitas. She intersperses these among her own vocal and instrumental compositions, which channel a wide world of influences, from Komitas to Tigran Mansurian, from Morton Feldman to George Crumb, from Patty Waters to Kate Bush. The melody that recurs through the highlights “Petal One,” “Petal Two” and “Full Bloom” glows with an aural and emotional purity that’s characteristic of Agbabian’s music.

 

Agbabian recorded Bloom at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano, Switzerland, with ECM founder Manfred Eicher producing. The two had met some years before at a post-concert dinner in Paris, with Eicher then listening to her first solo album, Kissy(bag). About the experience of working with the producer for Bloom, Agbabian says: “First of all, the studio in Lugano is a warm wooden room with a natural reverb and projection, perfect for this sort of acoustic music. With his years of experience, Manfred guides an artist to the correct balance musically. As far as my songs went, he suggested a few changes that made them more appropriate for a studio recording as opposed to concert performance. He also suggested that I play slightly different takes of the same material, which created recurring motifs that gave the album narrative shape. There are a couple of pieces credited to Manfred, ‘Rain Drops’ and ‘Whiteness,’ that serve as parentheses within the storybook feel of Bloom. He had suggested that I play a mid-range chord in E-flat and slowly make my way up the keyboard with an airy feel. He conducted these moments live in the studio space.”

 

 Stocker also contributes two solo percussion pieces to the album, “Light Effects” and “Colored.” About the collaboration with the percussionist, Agbabian explains: “When I was invited to check out the studio in Lugano, I met Nicolas while he was playing a Nik Bärtsch session. I could immediately tell that Nicolas was a very kind person, and I really liked the color palette of his percussion setup, which he extended with unique bells and gongs. We ended up working together intensively for a few weeks before recording, both in L.A. and Zurich. I added a few items to his percussion set, such as Tibetan singing bowls. Also, the piano preparations on some of the pieces ended up giving us a unified percussion sound, especially on my piece ‘The Water Bride.’ And ‘The River’ was a pure improvisation by the two of us from which his polyrhythmic groove in ‘Colored’ emerged.”

 

Agbabian has been a singer since she was an infant, already humming melodies at the age of 11 months. Growing up in a world of sound, she was hitting xylophones and drums by age 4, making up melodies and rhythms. She sang rhymes and folk songs with her aunt, a trained opera singer and Armenian music specialist, and her mother, a storyteller and Armenian folklorist. These women imprinted the Armenian language, its tones and inflections, into her mind and body. At age 7, Agbabian began a study of classical piano that lasted for 20 years. Throughout this period, she continued her vocal work, and by her early 20s, she had sung in many choirs of Armenian sacred and Bulgarian folk music, eventually performing traditional Armenian folklore and music professionally. She gradually integrated these byways of her musical journey into an individual musical path.

 

After some years performing in the improvised music scene of New York City, Agbabian returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. She joined Hamasyan’s quintet, touring the world and recording two albums with him; she also wrote the lyrics to “Lament” on his Shadow Theater LP. As a vocalist, Agbabian has worked not only in jazz and folk music but also in contemporary opera, dance, new music and multimedia performance, with her credits including the opera What To Wear by Bang on a Can composer Michael Gordon. She released her solo album Kissy(Bag) in 2014. Of late, Agbabian has been performing Armenian and Persian music in Los Angeles with Lernazang, a group of young folk instrumentalists; she also collaborates with guitarist Gagik “Gagas” Khodavirdi, her husband.

 

Throughout Bloom, a sense of spiritual yearning makes itself felt, strikingly so in Agbabian’s own deeply introspective songs “Patience” and “Mother,” as well as in the Armenian sacred hymn “Anganim Arachi Ko.” The connection between the traditional material and the original songs is virtually genetic. She explains: “Armenian music is in my DNA. It speaks to me on a spiritual level that I cannot explain. In fact, the sacred music eventually is what changed my life. It was through it that I came to know God, and through the imagery of the Biblical stories of the Resurrection written in grabar (classical Armenian) that my heart was transformed. Intellectually, it is probably more difficult than any other music I have studied, European classical music included, especially because of Armenian music’s linguistic and rhythmic challenges, the microtonality and the memorization. I’m in my fourth year of participating in sacred music study and practice. This requires an understanding of ritual time, and supporting the cerebral process of understanding music with conscious listening of my whole person.”  

 

 

 

 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Stephan Micus

White Night

 

Stephan Micuskalimbas duduk, bass duduk, sindingdondon, fourteen-string guitar, steel string guitar, Tibetan cymbals, cane whistles, vocals 

 

Release date: April 26, 2019

 

ECM 2639                            

B0029979-02

UPC: 6025 773 6220 0                                          

 

 

Though the purity of the moonlight has silenced both nightingale and cricket,

the cuckoo alone sings all the white night. (Anonymous, Japanese)

 

 

“I’ve always been inspired by moonlight,” says Stephan Micus. “Often I go walking, swimming in the sea or, best of all, cross-country skiing when the moon turns the snow into millions of diamonds. Moonlight for me has a special magic.”

 

Stephan Micus has a strong and physical relationship with nature, landscapes and the people who inhabit them, all over the world. You hear that in his music which is created for instruments he has collected in years of travels and re-fashioned for his own use. He plays all the parts and multi-tracks them with up to 22 layers on the ‘Fireflies’ track on this album. By contrast, ‘The Moon’ and ‘All the Way’ are solo pieces recorded in one take.

 

On White Night, his 23rd solo album for ECM, Micus takes us on a journey into an imaginary world entering at ‘The Eastern Gate’ and exiting at ‘The Western Gate’. In between the gates unfold the different scenes of the composition: ‘The Bridge’, ‘The River’, ‘The Moon’ and so on. Aside from the 14 string guitar, to conjure this world Micus plays instruments from Armenia, Tibet, India, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia, most of them in combinations never heard before.

 

For each of his albums, Micus uses a defined cast of instruments to create its distinctive sound world. On White Night, the leading characters are African ‘thumb pianos’ (kalimba) and the Armenian duduk, two instruments which are extremely different in their personalities. The duduk always has a trace of melancholy, whereas the kalimba is imbued with a spirit of joy. To combine the two is like bringing two irreconcilable spirits together.

 

The technical name for the kalimba is a lamellophone, which comprises metal tongues attached to a resonator. They are known by different names in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa - mbira, kalimba, sanza, ndingo etc. On this album Micus uses instruments he has collected in Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia. “These are old and unique instruments,” he says. “Most of them I found in remote villages and so each one has its own story connected with the people I met, with the landscapes and these memories help me create the music for them, something an instrument bought in a shop could never do. In most cases I change the tunings according to the music which evolves when I start improvising on them. My first kalimba I bought in Tanzania some 26 years ago.”

 

“Whenever I travel I take a kalimba with me on my journey. It’s such a great instrument to carry along,” says Micus who has a practical relationship with these instruments. “It’s small and doesn’t disturb anyone. This enables me to keep working on some tunes and rhythms even if I am on the road.”

 

One of the solo tracks at the heart of the album is ‘All the Way’, played on a kalimba Micus bought in a village where the indigenous San people have been settled in Botswana. This is a one-take performance on an instrument of 22 keys.

 

“I admire the way that for thousands of years, the San lived on the land without leaving any traces or without doing any damage to it, just like the Australian aborigines or Native Americans. But strangely people have always looked down on these people, while really we should honour them for this great achievement”. This kalimba solo is a tribute to all people who respect our planet and preserve its amazing beauty. Another kalimba, from Tanzania, that Micus uses on ‘The River’, has small rings on its keys creating a buzzing sound like waves and splashes in the water.

 

On ‘The Bridge’ and ‘The Forest’, Micus uses a kalimba specially created for this album. He commissioned the South African instrumentalist Phillip Nangle to build an instrument with just bronze keys instead of the usual steel ones. Bronze gives a warmer, more mellow sound, which makes a superb accompaniment to Micus’ voice singing his lyrics in an invented language.

 

Micus has made two trips to Armenia to learn to play the duduk, the plaintive, oboe-like instrument which lends its melancholy tone to so much Armenian music. The first time he studied with Djivan Gasparyan, the second with Gevorg Dabaghyan, two musicians who are considered by many to be the greatest living masters. He’s used the duduk on two previous albums Towards the Wind (2002) and Snow (2008). Traditionally the bass duduk is only used as an accompanying drone, playing just one or two notes. But on the opening and closing tracks ofWhite Night Micus uses it for soulful melodies that frame his story with themes of deep profundity. You’ve never heard a duduk go as low as this.

 

The other solo in the center of the album is ‘The Moon’, a duduk solo, played on a much smaller instrument than the standard one. The composition has nothing to do with traditional Armenian music, but certainly evokes the lonely, misty and ethereal shimmer of the moon in the night sky.

 

For many of his CD booklets Micus chooses a small text to intensify the particular mood of each album. For White Night he’s chosen a Japanese poem, so the track ‘The Poet’ could represent the anonymous writer reciting his verse about the entrancing birdsong in the white, moonlit night.

 

Other striking instruments we hear are Indian cane whistles multi-tracked many times, which in ‘Fireflies’ alternate with Micus’ own voice in chorus. “They are simple cane flutes which you play like a recorder. I bought them on the street somewhere costing a few cents each.” And there are the Tibetan cymbals which Micus bought in Ladakh. These are ritual temple instruments and their clashing rhythms bring a ceremonial quality to the opening and closing of this album.

 

It’s a reminder that Stephan Micus’ music has a profundity, that connects to cultures all over the world and their musical expression. But as he says, “it makes no sense for me to play traditional Armenian duduk.” His desire is to take us on a journey, using rare and obscure instruments combined in a novel way, to reach out to our universal emotions.

 

“Nowadays people in cities have lost contact with the moon,” says Micus. “I have lived all my life in the countryside and have had the privilege to experience many nights around the full moon. That’s why I dedicate this album to the moon which has always been a source of magic in many cultures. Music too is a source of magic which is where the two connect.”

ECM

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Michele Rabbia/Gianluca Petrella/Eivind Aarset
Lost River
digital release date: May 31, 2019
CD release date: June 7, 2019

Michele Rabbia: drums, percussion, electronics;
Gianluca Petrella: trombone, sounds; Eivind Aarset: guitar, electronics


Lost River is an evocative post-ambient, richly textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Drummer Michele Rabbia and guitarist Eivind Aarset had played many duo concerts, and Rabbia had also worked with trombonist Gianluca Petrella in other contexts, but this recording marks a premiere for the trio. Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms. Rabbia's drumming is freely creative and propulsive, and enhanced through his use of electronics. Aarset's flowing playing will delight listeners who have enjoyed his Dream Logic project and his contribution to recordings with Nils Petter Molvӕr, Tigran Hamasyan, Andy Sheppard and others. Petrella's role as a principal instrumental voice will surprise those who know him only as a great "jazz" soloist with Enrico Rava and Giovanni Guidi; his broad range is very well deployed in Manfred Eicher's widescreen production on this recording, made in Udine in January 2018.

 

 

 

 

ECM

Image

Paul Bley / Gary Peacock / Paul Motian
When Will The Blues Leave

digital release date: May 31, 2019

CD release date: June 7, 2019

 

Paul Bley: piano Gary Peacock: double bass Paul Motian: drums

In 1999, a year after recording the splendid reunion album Not Two, Not One, Paul Bley's highly innovative trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian took to the road with concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. When Will The Blues Leave documents a terrific performance at the Aula Magna di Trevano in Switzerland. 
Included here, alongside the angular freebop Ornette Coleman title track, are Paul Bley's "Mazatlan", brimming over with energy, Gary Peacock's evergreen "Moor", Gershwin's tender "I Loves You Porgy" and much more... All played with the subtlety of master improvisers, recasting the music in every moment.

Edited by GA Russell

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“Areni is a virtuoso singer and master of the art of improvisation, but her uniqueness is in the musical vocabulary that she uses to improvise. Her knowledge of Armenian secular and sacred music, contemporary classical music, and jazz allows her do things that are absolutely unique, utmost creative, daring and most of all soulful.” – Tigran Hamasyan


 

 

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New Album: Bloom 

 
Areni Agbabian: voice, piano; Nicolas Stocker: percussion 
 
On her ECM debut,  Areni Agbabian - improvising vocalist, folk singer, storyteller, pianist -focuses the range of her skills in music that casts a quiet spell. She draws deeply upon and reinterprets her Armenian heritage, interspersing these elements among her own evocative compositions.  
 
“Throughout Bloom, Agbabian delves intensely into Armenian culture, including a stunning take on the sacred hymn “Anganim Arachi Ko.” Breathing deeply, her vocal emphasizes sharp timing to convey a quiet minimalist power. Agbabian also composed a new version of the country’s folk tale “The Water Bride” in which Nicolas Stocker’s percussion and her own singular piano notes seem to choreograph a ritualistic counternarrative. Still, Bloom’s most fascinating feature throughout is Agbabian’s own voice as Stocker’s percussion highlights or frames its distinctive qualities. And, without ever directly saying so, Agbabian’s sparse intonation encourages deeper listening to her own music as well as to the national sounds she transforms.”
– Aaron Cohen, DownBeat 
★★★★

 

 

 

 

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 © 2019 ECM Records US, A Division of Verve Music Group. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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In 2019 ECM celebrates fifty years of continuous independent music production, an anniversary which prompts reflections upon the journey so far. TheTouchstones series of reissues highlights albums made along the way and includes many recordings which now count as milestones in the history of jazz and improvisation.

Click here to explore all 50 titles
 
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 © 2019 ECM Records US, A Division of Verve Music Group. All rights reserved.
 
 
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“Schiff responds intuitively to the wandering, intimate thoughts in these sonatas and impromptus from the end of Schubert’s life. So, uniquely, does Schiff’s gentle piano: perfect for leading the listener into the heart of this extraordinary music” -  Geoff Brown, The Times

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In the latest chapter in András Schiff’s ongoing documentation of Franz Schubert’s music, the great pianist plays the Four Impromptus D 899, and compositions from 1828, the last year of Schubert’s too brief life: The Three Pieces D 946 (“impromptus in all but name” notes Misha Donat in the CD booklet), the C minor Sonata D 958 and the A major Sonata D 959. Schiff again chooses to use his fortepiano made by Franz Brodmann in Vienna, around 1820. “It is to me ideally suited to Schubert’s keyboard works,” he has said. There is something quintessentially Viennese in its timbre, its tender mellowness, its melancholic cantabilità.” Critics have agreed, unanimous also in their praise of Schiff’s interpretations: “I cannot think of anyone of his caliber who has mastered the fortepiano as well as the modern piano and shown such distinction on both,” wrote Stephen Plaistow in an Editor’s Choice review in Gramophone. “In Schubert Schiff has a claim to be considered sovereign among today’s players, carrying forward the reading and interpretation of him into areas that others have not fully explored.”

LISTEN / BUY
 
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 © *2018 ECM Records US, A Division of Verve Music Group. All rights reserved.
 
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ECM NEW SERIES

 

 

Keith Jarrett

J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier – Book I

 

Keith Jarrett: piano

 

Release Date: June 14, 2019

 

ECM 2627/28

B0030055-02 

UPC: 0289 481 8016 5 (2-CD SET)

 

 

In February 1987, Keith Jarrett recorded, on piano, the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was the first in a series of lauded Bach discs that Jarrett would make for ECM. On March 7, 1987, prior to the release of the studio set, he performed the complete WTC Book I for an audience in upstate New York at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a venue renowned for its beautiful acoustics. With this release, ECM is presenting an archival live recording of this concert for the first time. When his studio album of the WTC Book I was released, Jarrett’s manner in these iconic preludes and fugues surprised many listeners with its poetic restraint, given his renown as a jazz improvisor. But the pianist was deeply attuned to what he called “the process of thought” in Bach; by not imposing his personality unduly on the music, Jarrett allowed the score to shine via the natural lyricism of the contrapuntal melodic lines, the dance-like pulse of the rhythmic flow. These qualities are strikingly apparent in the live recording, with its added electricity of a concert performance.

 

Jarrett has explored the classical repertoire for ECM New Series with a depth and breadth that few jazz artists have ever attempted. He has surveyed much other solo keyboard music by Bach, including the WTC Book II, Goldberg Variations and French Suites, all on harpsichord. He also recorded, on harpsichord, Bach chamber pieces with violist Kim Kashkashian and, on piano, Bach sonatas with violinist Michelle Makarski. In league with violinist Gidon Kremer, Jarrett recorded the reference version of Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, which appeared on the disc Tabula Rasa, the very first ECM New Series release, in 1984. The pianist also recorded two volumes of concertos by Mozart, as well as concertos by Bela Bartók and Samuel Barber. On solo piano, Jarrett has ranged, to great acclaim, from Handel’s keyboard suites to Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87. Reviewing Jarrett’s 1992 Shostakovich set, The New York Times declared: “Even in our multicultural, multistylistic age, it is still extremely difficult to cross over from one field to another. Mr. Jarrett, having long since established himself in jazz, can now be called a classical pianist of the first rank.”

 

J.S. Bach composed The Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846-893) as a collection of two books of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, the music as sublimely expressive as it is acutely instructive. He compiled Book I in 1722, at age 37, while working in Köthen, Germany (with Book II completed two decades later, in Leipzig); the WTC wasn’t published until 1801, nearly a half-century after Bach’s death. Down through the ages, this music has been a signal influence on composers from Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin to Brahms, Shostakovich and beyond. As for the score’s interpreters, since Edwin Fischer made the first complete recording of the WTC, in the 1930s, it has been ventured on disc by keyboardists of every stripe, from the romantic to the authenticist – and all stylistic gradations in between.

 

Gramophone magazine, reviewing Jarrett’s studio recording of the WTC Book I, said: “These are performances in which tempos, phrasing, articulation and the execution of ornaments are convincing. Both instrument and performer serve as unobtrusive media through which the music emerges without enhancement.” Discussing Bach in the booklet essay for that studio recording, Jarrett said this about his subtle approach to the composer’s music: “This music does not need my assistance. The melodic lines themselves are expressive to me… The very direction of the lines, the moving lines of notes are inherently expressive.” In a 1994 interview with Fanfare magazine, Jarrett linked his playing of Bach with his background as an improviser in one key aspect: “When you’re an improviser, there’s a certain shimmer to the motion of things. It’s a dance.”

 

***

 

Born in May 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Keith Jarrett has recorded for ECM since 1971, when he and producer Manfred Eicher first collaborated on the widely influential solo piano album Facing You, eight short pieces that, in Eicher’s words, “hold together like a suite.” The album prefigured the solo piano concerts that would come to be such a defining aspect of Jarrett’s career. His vast ECM discography now encompasses solo improvisation, duets, trios, quartets, original compositions, multi-instrumental ventures, masterpieces of the classical repertoire and far-reaching explorations of the Great American Songbook.

 

In 1973, ECM organized an 18-concert European tour featuring Jarrett’s concerts of solo improvisations. The Köln Concert of 1975 has unsurprisingly passed into legend: a multimillion-selling album that has been the subject of books and a complete transcription. But The Köln Concert should not eclipse Jarrett’s achievement with a whole sequence of improvised concerts, a genre that he effectively created. After the success of that initial solo tour, the pianist has continued to pursue the improvised solo concert format, the decades of his career studded with recordings of his ever-fertile imagination, usually titled simply by where they took place: Paris, Vienna, Lausanne, Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Rio...

 

Jarrett has also led several outstanding groups. In the mid-’70s, the pianist began recording for ECM with his so-called “European Quartet,” featuring saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. No less essential is his contemporaneous “American Quartet,” with saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian. And in the early ’80s, Jarrett formed his hugely popular “Standards Trio” with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, which proved to be one of the most prolific and enduring partnerships in the history of jazz.

 

 

 

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 1.  Paul Bley - Mazatlan 11:35 
     
 2.  Paul Bley - Flame 05:37 
     
 3.  Paul Bley - Told You So 09:48 
     
 4.  Gary Peacock - Moor 07:14 
     
 5.  Paul Bley - Longer 05:33 
     
 6.  Paul Bley - Dialogue Amour 06:01 
     
 7.  Ornette Coleman - When Will The Blues Leave 05:26 
     
 8.  George and Ira Gershwin / Du Bose Heyward - I Loves You, Porgy 04:56 
     
 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian

When Will The Blues Leave

 

Paul Bley: piano

Gary Peacock: double bass

Paul Motian: drums

 

Digital release date: May 31, 2019

CD release date: June 7, 2019

ECM 2642                       

B0030293-02

UPC: 6025 774 0423 8

 

 

“If music is conversation then questions will come up because in conversation there are many questions.  Questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions.  That is what makes the music continue: the questions and their answers.”

Paul Bley

 

 

When Will The Blues Leave, a previously unreleased recording rescued from the archives, bears testimony to the special musical understanding shared by three great improvisers. Long acknowledged by creative musicians as one of the influential groups of the ‘free’ era, Paul Bley’s pioneering trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian has been under-represented on record. A 1963 session with this trio formed part of the album Paul Bley with Gary Peacock, which ECM released in 1970, and a 1964 recording on which the three musicians were joined by saxophonist John Gilmore was issued in the mid-70s on Bley’s IAI label. Over the years there were recordings which presented the pianist either with Motian or with Peacock, as well as albums that featured the drummer and bassist in other contexts. But it wasn’t until 1998 that all three protagonists came together again, at Gary’s suggestion, for the ECM recording Not Two, Not One.  On its release the following year, the reunited trio of Bley, Peacock and Motian played concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, and we are very pleased to present now this live album, drawn from a performance at Lugano’s Aula Magna in March 1999, which shows the group at the peak of its powers. More than a historical document, it’s also a great-sounding album, one of the finest in Paul’s trio discography.

 

Paul Bley’s tune “Mazatlan”, which long-time Bley followers first encountered on the albumTouching, opens the proceedings and immediately ushers the listener into the trio’s quick-witted world, in which three independent spirits enjoy the fullest range of expression.  “The beauty of having a drummer like Paul Motian,” Bley once famously said, “was that you were free to go wherever you wanted. He didn’t play accompaniment. So you didn’t have to worry ‘If I take a left turn will the drummer be able to follow me?’, because Motian had no intention of following you in the first place.”  Both Motian and Peacock claim plenty of space inside “Mazatlan” and Bley makes some characteristic explorations of the piano’s lower reaches, with explosive clusters at the deep end. 

 

“Flame” burns steadily, with Bley and Peacock developing what might be described as parallel soliloquies. “Told You So” is a reminder of the pianist’s affection for the blues, constant through the fragmentation of its themes.

 

The energetic “When Will The Blues Leave”, taken at a flying clip, is a piece that was introduced into Bley’s repertoire in 1958 when the tune’s composer, Ornette Coleman, was a member (along with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins) of Paul’s legendary quintet at the Hillcrest Club in Los Angeles.  It can also be heard on the classic Footloose album and on Paul Bley With Gary Peacock. The latter album also includes Peacock’s “Moor”, a composition the bassist has returned to numerous times, always finding new things to play in it (other versions on ECM include a quartet rendering with Jan Garbarek, Tomasz Stanko and Jack DeJohnette on Voice From The Past-Paradigm, and a recent trio interpretation with Marc Copland and Joey Baron on Now This).  Here, “Moor” begins as a robust bass solo, which gradually draws Motian’s drums and Bley’s piano into its orbit. 

 

These musicians were never inclined to play anything the same way twice, and “Dialogue Amour”, introduced a year earlier on Not Two, Not One, is transformed in the Lugano performance, with both Peacock and Bley free associating as the piece unfolds.  At one point, Paul quotes from “Ornithology” by Charlie Parker (just one of the many giants Bley played with along the way).

 

In the trio’s first collaborations in the early 1960s, the emphasis had been on original material as a doorway to free playing, but by the 1990s all three musicians, in their various projects, had re-embraced standard repertoire as well.  The concluding piece here, Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” is another fascinating performance, with Bley at first surrendering to its romantic atmosphere, then splintering and abstracting the melody, driven – as he always was – to make the music new.

 

***

 

Further ECM recordings with Paul Bley and Paul Motian include Fragments and The Paul Bley Quartet recorded, respectively, in 1986 and 1987, with a group completed by John Surman and Bill Frisell. In addition to albums mentioned above, Bley and Gary Peacock can be heard together on Ballads (recorded 1967), John Surman’s Adventure Playground (1991) and In The Evenings Out There (also 1991), jointly credited to Bley, Peacock, Surman and Tony Oxley. Gary Peacock and Paul Motian can be heard together with Keith Jarrett on the album At The Deer Head Inn (1992), and on recordings by Marilyn Crispell including Nothing ever was, anyway (1996) - featuring music Annette Peacock originally wrote for Paul Bley’s groups – andAmaryllis (2000).

 

Paul Bley’s last recording for ECM was the live solo album Play Blue, recorded at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008.  Paul Motian’s final recording as a leader for the label was Lost In A Dream, recorded 2009, with Chris Potter and Jason Moran.  Motian died in 2011, Bley in 2016.

 

Gary Peacock continues to record new music.  Following the dissolution of Keith Jarrett’s ‘Standards’ trio (of which Gary was a member for 30 years), Peacock’s priorities have included his own group with Marc Copland and Joey Baron (albums are Tangents and Now This) and a duo with Marilyn Crispell (documented on Azure).

 

 

 

 

 
 
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 1.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Nimbus 05:13 
     
 2.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Flood 04:21 
     
 3.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - What Floats Beneath 05:43 
     
 4.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Lost River 04:45 
     
 5.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Styx 02:51 
     
 6.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Night Sea Journey 05:43 
     
 7.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Fluvius 06:25 
     
 8.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - What The Water Brings 05:45 
     
 9.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Flotsam 01:27 
     
 10.  Michele Rabbia / Gianluca Petrella / Eivind Aarset - Wadi 02:00 
     
 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset

Lost River

 

Michele Rabbia: percussion, electronics

Gianluca Petrella: trombone, sounds

Eivind Aarset: guitar, electronics

 

Digital release date: May 31, 2019

CD release date: June 7, 2019

 

ECM 2609                

B0030294-02

UPC: 6025 774 5607 7      

                       

 

Lost River is an evocative and richly-textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Drummer Michele Rabbia and guitarist Eivind Aarset had played many duo concerts, and Rabbia had also worked with trombonist Gianluca Petrella in other contexts, but this recording marks a premiere for the trio, brought together at the suggestion of producer Manfred Eicher.

 

Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms. Rabbia’s drumming is freely creative and propulsive, and enhanced through his use of electronics. Aarset’s flowing playing will intrigue listeners who have enjoyed his Dream Logic project and his contribution to recordings with Tigran Hamasyan, Andy Sheppard, Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvӕr (if Lost Rivers belongs to a tributary or subset of ECM recordings, it is one that includes Khmer). And Petrella’s role as a central instrumental voice here may surprise those who know him only as a great “jazz” soloist with Enrico Rava and Giovanni Guidi; his broad range is well-deployed in Eicher’s widescreen production on this recording, made in Udine in January 2018. All three players – Rabbia, Petrella and Aarset - share an interest in electronic music as a means for conveying or enhancing emotional expression and for shaping the environments and atmospheres in which instrumental interaction, melodic development and the coloring of sound can take place.

 

***

 

Michele Rabbia was born in Turin in 1965. He studied drums firstly with Enrico Lucchini in Italy and subsequently in the US with Joe Hunt and Alan Dawson. He has worked with a huge cast of musicians, with collaborators including Marilyn Crispell, Vincent Courtois, Roscoe Mitchell, Andy Sheppard and Dominique Pifarély. Rabbia has previously appeared on ECM recordings with Stefano Battaglia including Raccolto (recorded 2003), Re: Pasolini (2005), and Pastorale(2009). With Maria Pia De Vito, François Couturier and Anja Lechner, he is a founder member of the group Il Pergolese, whose eponymous debut album (2012) draws freely upon compositions of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

 

Born in Bari in the South of Italy in 1975, Gianluca Petrella took up the trombone at the age of 10, following in the footsteps of his father, also a trombonist. The younger Petrella immersed himself in the history of jazz, exploring its mutating styles while also keeping an ear open to the sounds of the city. Recognized now as one of the important figures in the new Italian jazz, he is also interested in contemporary composition, R & B and the roots of hip hop, film music and more. He has performed with Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer, leads several bands of his own, and has created soundtracks for movies. A co-leader on the ECM album Ida Lupino(recorded 2015), with Giovanni Guidi, Louis Sclavis and Gerald Cleaver, Petrella can also be heard on four records for the label with Enrico Rava - Easy Living (2003), The Words and the Days (2005), Tribe (2019), and Wild Dance (2015) - and as a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz under the direction of Paolo Damiani on Charmediterranéan (2001).

 

Eivind Aarset, born in Kolbotn, Norway in 1961, started playing guitar at the age of 12, inspired initially by Jimi Hendrix. Other early influences included fellow Norwegian Terje Rypdal and Pete Cosey with Miles Davis’s Agharta group. Aarset has helped to shape a new role for the electric guitar in creative music, working in an almost painterly way with texture and color and atmosphere. Eivind’s ECM album Dream Logic was recorded in 2011 and 2012. It was followed by Atmosphères (2014) with an improvising quartet with Tigran Hamasyan, Arve Henriksen and Jan Bang. Other ECM recordings with Eivind include Nils Petter Molvӕr’s influential Khmer(1996-97) and Solid Ether (1999) , Small Labyrinths (1994) with Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song, Arild Andersen’s Electra (2002-03), Arve Heriksen’s Cartography (2005-06), John Hassell’s Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street (2008), Ketil Bjørnstad’s La Notte(2010), Food’s Mercurial Balm (2010-11), Michel Benita’s River Silver (2015), and three albums with Andy Sheppard: Movements In Colour (2008), Surrounded by Sea (2014) and Romaria (2017).

 

 

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In 1999, a year after recording their reunion album Not Two, Not One, Paul Bley’s highly innovative trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian took to the road with concerts on both sides of the Atlantic.  When Will The Blues Leave documents a terrific performance from this tour period with the musicians playing with the subtlety of master improvisers, recasting the music in every moment.

 

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Lost River is an evocative post-ambient, richly textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms.

 

88a9a7b2-0264-45fe-9e47-4f6c21522e06.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Improvising vocalist, folk singer, storyteller, pianist: on her ECM debut Areni Agbabian focuses the range of her skills in music that casts a quiet spell. A sparse music in which voice, piano and subtle percussion continually shade into silence.  The California-born Agbabian, known through her work with Tigran Hamasyan, draws deeply upon and reinterprets her Armenian heritage, interspersing these elements among her own evocative compositions.

 

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 © 2019 ECM Records US, A Division of Verve Music Group. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian

When Will The Blues Leave

 

Paul Bley: piano

Gary Peacock: double bass

Paul Motian: drums

 

Digital release date: May 31, 2019

CD release date: June 7, 2019

ECM 2642                       

B0030293-02

UPC: 6025 774 0423 8

 

 

“If music is conversation then questions will come up because in conversation there are many questions.  Questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions.  That is what makes the music continue: the questions and their answers.”

Paul Bley

 

 

When Will The Blues Leave, a previously unreleased recording rescued from the archives, bears testimony to the special musical understanding shared by three great improvisers. Long acknowledged by creative musicians as one of the influential groups of the ‘free’ era, Paul Bley’s pioneering trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian has been under-represented on record. A 1963 session with this trio formed part of the album Paul Bley with Gary Peacock, which ECM released in 1970, and a 1964 recording on which the three musicians were joined by saxophonist John Gilmore was issued in the mid-70s on Bley’s IAI label. Over the years there were recordings which presented the pianist either with Motian or with Peacock, as well as albums that featured the drummer and bassist in other contexts. But it wasn’t until 1998 that all three protagonists came together again, at Gary’s suggestion, for the ECM recording Not Two, Not One.  On its release the following year, the reunited trio of Bley, Peacock and Motian played concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, and we are very pleased to present now this live album, drawn from a performance at Lugano’s Aula Magna in March 1999, which shows the group at the peak of its powers. More than a historical document, it’s also a great-sounding album, one of the finest in Paul’s trio discography.

 

Paul Bley’s tune “Mazatlan”, which long-time Bley followers first encountered on the albumTouching, opens the proceedings and immediately ushers the listener into the trio’s quick-witted world, in which three independent spirits enjoy the fullest range of expression.  “The beauty of having a drummer like Paul Motian,” Bley once famously said, “was that you were free to go wherever you wanted. He didn’t play accompaniment. So you didn’t have to worry ‘If I take a left turn will the drummer be able to follow me?’, because Motian had no intention of following you in the first place.”  Both Motian and Peacock claim plenty of space inside “Mazatlan” and Bley makes some characteristic explorations of the piano’s lower reaches, with explosive clusters at the deep end. 

 

“Flame” burns steadily, with Bley and Peacock developing what might be described as parallel soliloquies. “Told You So” is a reminder of the pianist’s affection for the blues, constant through the fragmentation of its themes.

 

The energetic “When Will The Blues Leave”, taken at a flying clip, is a piece that was introduced into Bley’s repertoire in 1958 when the tune’s composer, Ornette Coleman, was a member (along with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins) of Paul’s legendary quintet at the Hillcrest Club in Los Angeles.  It can also be heard on the classic Footloose album and on Paul Bley With Gary Peacock. The latter album also includes Peacock’s “Moor”, a composition the bassist has returned to numerous times, always finding new things to play in it (other versions on ECM include a quartet rendering with Jan Garbarek, Tomasz Stanko and Jack DeJohnette on Voice From The Past-Paradigm, and a recent trio interpretation with Marc Copland and Joey Baron on Now This).  Here, “Moor” begins as a robust bass solo, which gradually draws Motian’s drums and Bley’s piano into its orbit. 

 

These musicians were never inclined to play anything the same way twice, and “Dialogue Amour”, introduced a year earlier on Not Two, Not One, is transformed in the Lugano performance, with both Peacock and Bley free associating as the piece unfolds.  At one point, Paul quotes from “Ornithology” by Charlie Parker (just one of the many giants Bley played with along the way).

 

In the trio’s first collaborations in the early 1960s, the emphasis had been on original material as a doorway to free playing, but by the 1990s all three musicians, in their various projects, had re-embraced standard repertoire as well.  The concluding piece here, Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” is another fascinating performance, with Bley at first surrendering to its romantic atmosphere, then splintering and abstracting the melody, driven – as he always was – to make the music new.

 

***

 

Further ECM recordings with Paul Bley and Paul Motian include Fragments and The Paul Bley Quartet recorded, respectively, in 1986 and 1987, with a group completed by John Surman and Bill Frisell. In addition to albums mentioned above, Bley and Gary Peacock can be heard together on Ballads (recorded 1967), John Surman’s Adventure Playground (1991) and In The Evenings Out There (also 1991), jointly credited to Bley, Peacock, Surman and Tony Oxley. Gary Peacock and Paul Motian can be heard together with Keith Jarrett on the album At The Deer Head Inn (1992), and on recordings by Marilyn Crispell including Nothing ever was, anyway (1996) - featuring music Annette Peacock originally wrote for Paul Bley’s groups – andAmaryllis (2000).

 

Paul Bley’s last recording for ECM was the live solo album Play Blue, recorded at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008.  Paul Motian’s final recording as a leader for the label was Lost In A Dream, recorded 2009, with Chris Potter and Jason Moran.  Motian died in 2011, Bley in 2016.

 

Gary Peacock continues to record new music.  Following the dissolution of Keith Jarrett’s ‘Standards’ trio (of which Gary was a member for 30 years), Peacock’s priorities have included his own group with Marc Copland and Joey Baron (albums are Tangents and Now This) and a duo with Marilyn Crispell (documented on Azure).

 

ECM

 

 

 

Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset

Lost River

 

Michele Rabbia: percussion, electronics

Gianluca Petrella: trombone, sounds

Eivind Aarset: guitar, electronics

 

Digital release date: May 31, 2019

CD release date: June 7, 2019

 

ECM 2609                

B0030294-02

UPC: 6025 774 5607 7      

                       

 

Lost River is an evocative and richly-textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Drummer Michele Rabbia and guitarist Eivind Aarset had played many duo concerts, and Rabbia had also worked with trombonist Gianluca Petrella in other contexts, but this recording marks a premiere for the trio, brought together at the suggestion of producer Manfred Eicher.

 

Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms. Rabbia’s drumming is freely creative and propulsive, and enhanced through his use of electronics. Aarset’s flowing playing will intrigue listeners who have enjoyed his Dream Logic project and his contribution to recordings with Tigran Hamasyan, Andy Sheppard, Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvӕr (if Lost Rivers belongs to a tributary or subset of ECM recordings, it is one that includes Khmer). And Petrella’s role as a central instrumental voice here may surprise those who know him only as a great “jazz” soloist with Enrico Rava and Giovanni Guidi; his broad range is well-deployed in Eicher’s widescreen production on this recording, made in Udine in January 2018. All three players – Rabbia, Petrella and Aarset - share an interest in electronic music as a means for conveying or enhancing emotional expression and for shaping the environments and atmospheres in which instrumental interaction, melodic development and the coloring of sound can take place.

 

***

 

Michele Rabbia was born in Turin in 1965. He studied drums firstly with Enrico Lucchini in Italy and subsequently in the US with Joe Hunt and Alan Dawson. He has worked with a huge cast of musicians, with collaborators including Marilyn Crispell, Vincent Courtois, Roscoe Mitchell, Andy Sheppard and Dominique Pifarély. Rabbia has previously appeared on ECM recordings with Stefano Battaglia including Raccolto (recorded 2003), Re: Pasolini (2005), and Pastorale(2009). With Maria Pia De Vito, François Couturier and Anja Lechner, he is a founder member of the group Il Pergolese, whose eponymous debut album (2012) draws freely upon compositions of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

 

Born in Bari in the South of Italy in 1975, Gianluca Petrella took up the trombone at the age of 10, following in the footsteps of his father, also a trombonist. The younger Petrella immersed himself in the history of jazz, exploring its mutating styles while also keeping an ear open to the sounds of the city. Recognized now as one of the important figures in the new Italian jazz, he is also interested in contemporary composition, R & B and the roots of hip hop, film music and more. He has performed with Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer, leads several bands of his own, and has created soundtracks for movies. A co-leader on the ECM album Ida Lupino(recorded 2015), with Giovanni Guidi, Louis Sclavis and Gerald Cleaver, Petrella can also be heard on four records for the label with Enrico Rava - Easy Living (2003), The Words and the Days (2005), Tribe (2019), and Wild Dance (2015) - and as a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz under the direction of Paolo Damiani on Charmediterranéan (2001).

 

Eivind Aarset, born in Kolbotn, Norway in 1961, started playing guitar at the age of 12, inspired initially by Jimi Hendrix. Other early influences included fellow Norwegian Terje Rypdal and Pete Cosey with Miles Davis’s Agharta group. Aarset has helped to shape a new role for the electric guitar in creative music, working in an almost painterly way with texture and color and atmosphere. Eivind’s ECM album Dream Logic was recorded in 2011 and 2012. It was followed by Atmosphères (2014) with an improvising quartet with Tigran Hamasyan, Arve Henriksen and Jan Bang. Other ECM recordings with Eivind include Nils Petter Molvӕr’s influential Khmer(1996-97) and Solid Ether (1999) , Small Labyrinths (1994) with Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song, Arild Andersen’s Electra (2002-03), Arve Heriksen’s Cartography (2005-06), John Hassell’s Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street (2008), Ketil Bjørnstad’s La Notte(2010), Food’s Mercurial Balm (2010-11), Michel Benita’s River Silver (2015), and three albums with Andy Sheppard: Movements In Colour (2008), Surrounded by Sea (2014) and Romaria (2017).

 

ECM

 

Marco Ambrosini   / Ensemble Supersonus

Resonances

 

Marco Ambrosini: nyckelharpa

Anna-Liisa Eller: kannel

Anna-Maria Hefele: overtone singing, harp

Wolf Janscha: jew’s harp

Eva-Maria Rusche: harpsichord, square piano

 

Release date: June 21, 2019

ECM 2497                            

UPC: 6025 776 3608 0                              

 

Led by nyckelharpa virtuoso Marco Ambrosini – first heard on ECM with Rolf Lislevand – Ensemble Supersonus applies its unique instrumental blend, capped by the otherworldly overtone singing of Anna-Maria Hefele, to very wide-ranging repertoire. Building bridges between cultures and traditions, Resonances sets compositions by Biber, Frescobaldi and Hildegard von Bingen next to Swedish folk music, Ottoman court music, and original pieces by the band members. Three pieces – “Ananada Rasa”, “Fjordene”, “Ritus” come from the pen of Wolf Janscha, the ensemble’s jew’s harp specialist. Ambrosini’s nyckleharpa solo “Fuga Xylocopae” opens the program, leading on to a fresh and sparkling account of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s ”Rosary Sonata No. 1”. All of Ensemble Supersonus contribute to the spirited arrangements of the music.

 

The group was formed out of a shared search for a sound that would connect archaic styles with baroque and other early music. The current quintet line-up of Supersonus was established in 2014, the group members broadening the repertoire still further with their own compositions. In their work, contrasts, dissimilarities and musical extremes are not perceived as conflicts, but rather as sources of new energy.

 

Resonances, recorded in 2015 in Lugano, is the band’s first album but both the ensemble and its constituent players have already gained a wide listenership. Anna-Maria Hefele is meanwhile recognised as one of the most creative contemporary exponents of overtone singing, and her polyphonic approach to this vocal technique has been the subject of a series of tutorial videos viewed millions of times. Born near Munich, Hefele graduated from the Carl Orff Institute of the Salzburg Mozarteum in 2018. She has been writing her own compositions for polyphonic solo voice since 2006, worked with choirs including the Obertonchor München, played folk music and music for ballet and theater. In addition to her unique vocals she also performs on harp and nyckelharpa in her solo concerts. On the Supersonus album she is the author of the piece “2 Four 8” on which overtones bounce like pebbles skimmed over the surface of a lake.

 

Anna-Liisa Eller, who plays - with both gracefulness and strong dynamic sense - the Estonian plucked string instrument the kannel (from the Baltic zither family and closely related to the Finnish kantele), graduated from the Estonian Academy of music and took further studies with teachers including Rolf Lislevand in Lyon and Trossingen. She has won awards including First Prize at the Helsinki international Kantele Competition in 2011. Eller works in close cooperation with early music ensembles including Lislevand’s Ensemble Kapsberger, Vox Clamantis, Oni Wytars (co-founded by Ambrosini) and Rondellus and has also performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

 

Keyboardist Eva-Maria Rusche composed the angular, propulsive ”Erimal Nopu” together with Marco Ambrosini, with whom she also performs in duo. Rusche was born in Tübingen and took lessons in piano and organ from an early age. After studies in physics and musicology in Heidelberg, she studied church music and organ in Lübeck and Stuttgart as well as harpsichord and historical keyboard instruments. She credits studies in Vienna with Michael Radalescu and Gordon Murray, numerous masterclasses for organ choir and improvisation with providing fundamental impulses for her artistic development. As a soloist, Rusche plays harpsichord and organ recitals. She plays, furthermore, in ensembles which bring together musicians of different backgrounds including – in addition to Supersonus - Oni Wytars, the Tabla-Takla Connection and Facilité.

 

Wolf Janscha, born in Vienna, studied classical guitar but has, since the mid-1990s, devoted himself to the jew’s harp on which he is recognised as an authority and virtuoso. The humble lamellophone has a long history, dating back to at least the 4th century BC, and it continues to play a role in folk musics of many cultures around the world. Janscha has researched Norwegian, Austrian, Siberian and Indian playing techniques, among others. His own playing style tends toward strongly stressed rhythm and motivic overtone melodies (see for instance the concluding piece “Ritus” here.)

 

Marco Ambrosini, born in Forlì, Italy, studied violin, viola and composition at the G.B. Pergolesi Institute in Ancona and at Pesaro’s Rossini Conservatory. One of very few nyckelharpa players working outside the Swedish folk tradition, he took up the instrument in 1983 and has since become one of its most outstanding exponents, shaping a new role for the instrument in baroque and contemporary music. An ECM recording artist since 2004, he has appeared on albums including Rolf Lislevand’s Nuove musiche and Diminiuito, Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrød’s If Grief Could Wait, and Helena Tulve’s Arboles lloran por Lluvia, as well as his duo project Inventio with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier. He has also contributed to a further 150 recordings. As soloist and nyckelharpa player he has appeared at many of the world’s great concert halls, from Milan’s La Scala to New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Ambrosini has been active across genres, collaborating in improvisational projects with Michael Riessler, Valentin Clastrier and others. And Ensemble Supersonus, similarly crossing borders, opened the summer 2019 season with an appearance at the INNtöne Jazz Festival in Diersbach, Austria, in June.

ECM

 

 

 

Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia

La misteriosa musica della Regina Loana

 

Gianluigi Trovesi: alto and piccolo clarinets

Gianni Coscia: accordion

 

Digital release date: June 21, 2019

CD release date: July 5, 2019

 

ECM 2652                

B0030410-02

UPC: 6025 773 8787 6                                          

 

 

There is nothing more seductive than artfulness, when it has the humility to disguise itself as artlessness. And especially when it generates, at every new quotation or invention, a feast of timbre capable of getting the maximum possible out of the instruments, in a natural way … This then is one way to add a popular dimension to cultivated music and a cultivated dimension to popular music. So there’s no need to wonder about in which temple we should place the music of Coscia and Trovesi. On a street corner or in a concert hall, they would feel at home just the same.                                                                                                                      -  Umberto Eco

 

 

The late novelist and polymath Umberto Eco (1932-2016) was a lifelong friend of accordionist Gianni Coscia and an ardent champion of the Trovesi-Coscia duo.  The author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum wrote liner notes for each of the duo’s previous ECM albums: In cerca di cibo (recorded 1999), Round About Weill (2004), and Frère Jacques: Round About Offenbach (2009). 

 

On the present recording, Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia pay tribute to their distinguished comrade. Eco’s partly autobiographical novel La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana (The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana), is also a meditation on the nature of memory, and it inspires Trovesi and Coscia on their own nostalgic and exploratory journey, referencing music mentioned in the book and free-associating upon its philosophical themes.  As ever, the Italians cast a wide net.  They play songs associated with Louis Armstrong (“Basin Street Blues”), Glenn Miller (“Moonlight Serenade”) and George Formby (“It’s In The Air”, quoted in “Volando”). They paraphrase Janáček’s In The Mists (fog is a recurring theme in Eco’s novel), and dip into movie music (from Casablanca’s “As Time Goes By” to “Bel Ami, from the German film of the same name). And, of course, the two musicians improvise, most creatively, while keeping their dedicatee in view.  

 

Gianni Coscia: “We have tried to run back through some of the book’s countless musical cues, as best we could and with no claims to completeness. In some cases, we have also inserted a few things that the author certainly had in mind but didn’t express explicitly.”

 

The album opens with “Interludio”, a piece that Umberto Eco and Gianni Coscia collaborated on more than 70 years ago - when Coscia was 14 and Eco 13.  The music inspired the young Eco to write accompanying verse pertinent to the work at hand: “…Musician, absorbed and inclined / Unveiling new worlds of silence /Tender incarnations of phantasms in sound / Vanish, warily, into memory.” (Eco was himself an amateur musician, playing trumpet, cello and recorder.)

 

“Basin Street Blues” is a particular delight among many here.  Recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1928, it is for Coscia and Trovesi “an emblem of the early days of jazz and our musical intention is to stress the dazzling discovery, on this side of the Atlantic, of an art that was all but unknown when not prohibited.”

 

Writing in Jazz Times about  In Cerca di Cibo, Bill Shoemaker made the observation that“Musicians like Coscia [born in 1931] who made the transition to jazz early on, lacked the musical data to become faux Americans; by necessity, they filled the information void with an Italian sensibility. This produced a shot-in-the-dark synthesis of early jazz and folkloric improvisational traditions”, a synthesis which Trovesi and Coscia have continued to nurture. As Umberto Eco put it, “We are in the presence of a new transversality where distinctions of genre are vanishing.”

 

In the eclectic sound-world of Gianluigi and Gianni, Eco said, “the meeting of apparently incompatible traditions conjures up the ghosts of non-existent musical families.” With the application of some ironic distancing, such ‘families’ may even include Italian patriotic songs of the Second World War such as  “Inno dei sommergibili” (“The Submariner’s Song”), whose propagandistic lyrics spoke of “the brave marine laughing in the face of Lady Death” – also part of the soundtrack of the last century.  Eco notes, in his Queen Loana book, that Italian radio in the early 1940s “made it seem as if life were running on two different tracks: on one, the war bulletins, on the other, the endless lessons in optimism and gaiety that our orchestras offered in such abundance.” 

 

In exploring such musical memories, the Trovesi-Coscia duo are also sketching a picture of an era. But they also venture beyond it with their “out of context homage”. The two pieces here called “Umberto” and “Eco” are, Coscia explains, “the improvised, polyphonic result of Trovesi’s gematria on the surname Eco and the name Umberto.”

 

***

 

Gianluigi Trovesi was born in 1944 in the village of Nembro in northern Italy, and studied at the Bergamo Conservatory, gaining his diploma in clarinet in 1966. Hearing Eric Dolphy play at the Milan festival in 1964 was a significant experience, but Trovesi's interests and influences embraced virtually every type of music, from Italian folk to the jazz avant-garde. By 1978, he was working as first alto sax and clarinet with the Milan Radio Big Band, a position he would occupy until 1993.

 

He arrived at ECM in 1994, his alto saxophone and clarinets soaring into the Skies of Europeproposed by the Italian Instabile Orchestra.  The duo with old friend Gianni Coscia made an immediate impact with In cerca di cibo, a left-field recording full of mordant humour, improvisational wit, unrepentant nostalgia, and exceptional musicianship that roved easily between jazz and chamber music, folk and soundtrack music, with a hint of klezmer.

 

Trovesi’s other projects on ECM include Vaghissimo Ritratto, on which he appears with Umberto Petrin (piano) and Fulvio Maras (percussion, electronics), hailed by the Irish Times as “improvised chamber music of stunning quality and adventure, melodic grace and rhythmic freedom” and Fugace, a rampant genre-hopping adventure by an all-Italian octet. His albumTrovesi All’Opera – Profumo di Violetta is a typically quirky Trovesi take on Italian opera performed, as Ivan Hewitt wrote in the Daily Telegraph, by “a turbo-charged version of a traditional Italian town band”.

 

Gianni Coscia, born in Alessandria - also Eco’s hometown - was a lawyer for many years, work that relegated music to the back-burner. Even in this period however he played with visiting American musicians including Joe Venuti, Bud Freeman and Sir Charles Thompson. In 1985 he released a widely acclaimed album L’altra fisharmonica which featured his accordion in combination with a string quartet and explored variations on Italian popular themes. La Briscola, a 1989 recording, signalled a reunion with Trovesi, who has partnered the accordionist in many projects since then. Coscia has appeared with the Giorgio Gaslini Big Band and worked with orchestras playing music of Kurt Weill and Astor Piazzolla, and toured the world as accompanist to singer Milva, also working with Gioconda Cilio, Maria Pia De Vito and Lucia Minetti. He has also collaborated with Enrico Rava, Pino Minafra, Paolo Damiani and other Italian improvisers, and with composer Luciano Berio – who dedicated his Sequenza XIII to Gianni Coscia.

 

La misteriosa musica della Regina Loana (album title suggested by Stefano Eco) was recorded at Night and Day Studio, Casinagrossa and mixed in Lugano.  The CD booklet includes liner notes by Gianni Coscia (in Italian, English and German), drawings by Umberto Eco, and studio photography by Roberto Cifarelli.  

ECM

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Maria Farantouri / Cihan Türkoğlu
Beyond The Borders
Digital release date: June 21, 2019
CD release date: July 5, 2019


Maria Farantouri: vocals; Cihan Türkoğlu: saz, kopuz, vocals;

Anja Lechner: violoncello; Meri Vardanyan: kanon;

Christos Barbas: ney; Izzet Kizil: percussion

 

The album title is the program in this meeting of remarkable artists brought together to interpret traditional music of Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Armenia, and to play original songs by Anatolian saz player Cihan Türkoğlu and lyricist Agathi Dimitroukas. In the spirit of the project, the new songs also bridge traditions and idioms and emphasize the potential of shared expression. Legendary Greek singer Maria Farantouri excels in this music beyond the borders, shaped also with the active participation of producer Manfred Eicher. German cellist Anja Lechner here draws on a knowledge of traditional folk forms gained partly through playing music of Armenian-Greek philosopher composer Gurdjieff. Armenian kanon (zither) player Meri Vardanyan has previously appeared on ECM as a member of the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble. Ney player and ethnomusicologist Christos Barbas, from Thessaloniki, has played everything from music of the baroque to ragas. Percussionist Izzet Kizil grew up in Eastern Turkey in an environment dominated by Sufi rhythms and has worked in many transcultural collaborations with artists from Natacha Atlas to Theodossi Spazzov, along the way evolving new approaches to traditional percussion. Beyond The Borders was recorded at Sierra Studios, Athens, in June 2017.

ECM

Image

Marco Ambrosini & Ensemble Supersonus - Resonances
Release date: June 21, 2019


Marco Ambrosini: nyckelharpa; Anna-Liisa Eller: kannel;
Anna-Maria Hefele: polyphonic overtone singing, harp; 
Wolf Jansch: jew's harp; Eva-Maria Rusche: harpsichord, square piano

 

Led by nyckelharpa virtuoso Marco Ambrosini - first heard on ECM with Rolf Lislevand - Ensemble Supersonus applies its unique instrumental blend, capped by the otherworldly overtone singing of Anna-Maria Hefele, to very wide-ranging repertoire. Building bridges between cultures and traditions, Resonances sets compositions by Biber, Frescobaldi and Hildegard von Bingen next to Swedish folk music, Ottoman court music, and original pieces by each of the band members.

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The Bley/Peacock/Motian makes me wonder what else is in ECM's vault.

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Probably a lot. Regular releases were often not recorded recently.

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In February 1987, Keith Jarrett recorded, on piano, the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was the first in a series of lauded Bach discs that Jarrett would make for ECM. On March 7, 1987, prior to the release of the studio set, he performed the complete WTC Book I for an audience in upstate New York at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a venue renowned for its beautiful acoustics. With this release, ECM is presenting an archival live recording of this concert for the first time. When his studio album of the WTC Book I was released, Jarrett’s manner in these iconic preludes and fugues surprised many listeners with its poetic restraint, given his renown as a jazz improvisor. But the pianist was deeply attuned to what he called “the process of thought” in Bach; by not imposing his personality unduly on the music, Jarrett allowed the score to shine via the natural lyricism of the contrapuntal melodic lines, the dance-like pulse of the rhythmic flow. These qualities are strikingly apparent in the live recording, with its added electricity of a concert performance.
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András Schiff fortepiano 
 
Four Impromptus D 899, The Three Pieces D 946, Sonata in C minor D 958, A major,  Sonata in A major D 959.
 
“this is a magnificent, endlessly fascinating pair of discs.”
– Andrew Clements, The Guardian
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Keith Jarrett piano

In this live recording from Troy, NY, Keith Jarrett addresses the challenges of Bach’s great set of preludes and fugues once more. Part of the goal is transparency, to bring the listener closer to the composer.
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Heinz Holliger oboe, English horn, piano
Marie-Lise Schüpbach English horn, oboe
Ernesto Molinari bass and contrabass clarinets
Sarah Wegener soprano
Philippe Jaccottet speaker 
 

Released to mark Holliger’s 80th birthday, this is the perfect embodiment of his dual artisty as performer and composer. The many short pieces of Holliger and Kurtág invite us to listen to every turning nuance, rewarding us with music-making that is at once emphatic and fine-grained.

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Reto Bieri clarinet
Meta4 Quartet:
Antti Tikkanen violin
Minna Pensola violin
Atte Kilpeläinen viola
Tomas Djupsjöbacka violoncello


At the center of Swiss clarinetist Reto Bieri's album is a profound interpretation of Johannes Brahms’s Quintet op 115 with the Finnish string quartet Meta4, bookended by Salvatore Sciarrino’s Let Me Die Before I Wake (1982), with its “whisper-quiet sound world of harmonics, multiphonics and tremolandos” (The Guardian), and Gérard Pesson’s Nebenstück (1998), a ghostly re-arrangement of Brahms’s Ballade, Op. 10 No. 4. 

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Anna Gourari piano

In this imaginatively shaped and sensitively played album – her third for ECM - Russian pianist Anna Gourari explores musical connections and influences extending across the arts with works by Schnittke, Rihm, Shchedrin, Pärt, Kancheli, and  Bach’s arrangements of Venetian composers Vivaldi and Marcello.

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 1.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Drama Köprüsü 06:07 
     
 2.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Yo Era Ninya 03:51 
     
 3.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Dyo Kosmoi Mia Angalia 05:06 
     
 4.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Triantafylia 04:58 
     
 5.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Wa Habibi 05:36 
     
 6.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Ta Panda Rei 06:28 
     
 7.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Lahtara Gia Zoi 04:16 
     
 8.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Anoihtos Kaimos 05:44 
     
 9.  Maria Farantouri, Cihan Türkoğlu - Kele Kele 05:56 
     
 
pdf.gif-FFFFFF.jpg Farantouri - Beyond the Borders CD bklt.pdf  
 

 


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 1.  Marco Ambrosini - Fuga Xylocopae 01:44 
     
 2.  Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber - Rosary Sonata No.1 06:03 
     
 3.  Hildegard von Bingen - O Antiqui Sancti 02:38 
     
 4.  Eva-Maria Rusche / Marco Ambrosini - Erimal Nopu 04:43 
     
 5.  Swedish Traditional - Polska 06:07 
     
 6.  Wolf Janscha - Ananda Rasa 02:58 
     
 7.  Veli Dede - Hicaz Hümâyun Saz Semâisi 06:47 
     
 8.  Johann Jakob Froberger - Toccata in E-minor 03:03 
     
 9.  Wolf Janscha - Fjordene 02:53 
     
 10.  Girolamo Frescobaldi - Praeludium – Tocata per le levatione 03:17 
     
 11.  Anna-Maria Hefele - 2 Four 8 02:53 
     
 12.  Wolf Janscha - Ritus 05:24 
     
 

 

ECM

 

Marco Ambrosini   / Ensemble Supersonus

Resonances

 

Marco Ambrosini: nyckelharpa

Anna-Liisa Eller: kannel

Anna-Maria Hefele: overtone singing, harp

Wolf Janscha: jew’s harp

Eva-Maria Rusche: harpsichord, square piano

 

Release date: June 21, 2019

ECM 2497                            

UPC: 6025 776 3608 0                              

 

Led by nyckelharpa virtuoso Marco Ambrosini – first heard on ECM with Rolf Lislevand – Ensemble Supersonus applies its unique instrumental blend, capped by the otherworldly overtone singing of Anna-Maria Hefele, to very wide-ranging repertoire. Building bridges between cultures and traditions, Resonances sets compositions by Biber, Frescobaldi and Hildegard von Bingen next to Swedish folk music, Ottoman court music, and original pieces by the band members. Three pieces – “Ananada Rasa”, “Fjordene”, “Ritus” come from the pen of Wolf Janscha, the ensemble’s jew’s harp specialist. Ambrosini’s nyckleharpa solo “Fuga Xylocopae” opens the program, leading on to a fresh and sparkling account of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s ”Rosary Sonata No. 1”. All of Ensemble Supersonus contribute to the spirited arrangements of the music.

 

The group was formed out of a shared search for a sound that would connect archaic styles with baroque and other early music. The current quintet line-up of Supersonus was established in 2014, the group members broadening the repertoire still further with their own compositions. In their work, contrasts, dissimilarities and musical extremes are not perceived as conflicts, but rather as sources of new energy.

 

Resonances, recorded in 2015 in Lugano, is the band’s first album but both the ensemble and its constituent players have already gained a wide listenership. Anna-Maria Hefele is meanwhile recognised as one of the most creative contemporary exponents of overtone singing, and her polyphonic approach to this vocal technique has been the subject of a series of tutorial videos viewed millions of times. Born near Munich, Hefele graduated from the Carl Orff Institute of the Salzburg Mozarteum in 2018. She has been writing her own compositions for polyphonic solo voice since 2006, worked with choirs including the Obertonchor München, played folk music and music for ballet and theater. In addition to her unique vocals she also performs on harp and nyckelharpa in her solo concerts. On the Supersonus album she is the author of the piece “2 Four 8” on which overtones bounce like pebbles skimmed over the surface of a lake.

 

Anna-Liisa Eller, who plays - with both gracefulness and strong dynamic sense - the Estonian plucked string instrument the kannel (from the Baltic zither family and closely related to the Finnish kantele), graduated from the Estonian Academy of music and took further studies with teachers including Rolf Lislevand in Lyon and Trossingen. She has won awards including First Prize at the Helsinki international Kantele Competition in 2011. Eller works in close cooperation with early music ensembles including Lislevand’s Ensemble Kapsberger, Vox Clamantis, Oni Wytars (co-founded by Ambrosini) and Rondellus and has also performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

 

Keyboardist Eva-Maria Rusche composed the angular, propulsive ”Erimal Nopu” together with Marco Ambrosini, with whom she also performs in duo. Rusche was born in Tübingen and took lessons in piano and organ from an early age. After studies in physics and musicology in Heidelberg, she studied church music and organ in Lübeck and Stuttgart as well as harpsichord and historical keyboard instruments. She credits studies in Vienna with Michael Radalescu and Gordon Murray, numerous masterclasses for organ choir and improvisation with providing fundamental impulses for her artistic development. As a soloist, Rusche plays harpsichord and organ recitals. She plays, furthermore, in ensembles which bring together musicians of different backgrounds including – in addition to Supersonus - Oni Wytars, the Tabla-Takla Connection and Facilité.

 

Wolf Janscha, born in Vienna, studied classical guitar but has, since the mid-1990s, devoted himself to the jew’s harp on which he is recognised as an authority and virtuoso. The humble lamellophone has a long history, dating back to at least the 4th century BC, and it continues to play a role in folk musics of many cultures around the world. Janscha has researched Norwegian, Austrian, Siberian and Indian playing techniques, among others. His own playing style tends toward strongly stressed rhythm and motivic overtone melodies (see for instance the concluding piece “Ritus” here.)

 

Marco Ambrosini, born in Forlì, Italy, studied violin, viola and composition at the G.B. Pergolesi Institute in Ancona and at Pesaro’s Rossini Conservatory. One of very few nyckelharpa players working outside the Swedish folk tradition, he took up the instrument in 1983 and has since become one of its most outstanding exponents, shaping a new role for the instrument in baroque and contemporary music. An ECM recording artist since 2004, he has appeared on albums including Rolf Lislevand’s Nuove musiche and Diminiuito, Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrød’s If Grief Could Wait, and Helena Tulve’s Arboles lloran por Lluvia, as well as his duo project Inventio with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier. He has also contributed to a further 150 recordings. As soloist and nyckelharpa player he has appeared at many of the world’s great concert halls, from Milan’s La Scala to New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Ambrosini has been active across genres, collaborating in improvisational projects with Michael Riessler, Valentin Clastrier and others. And Ensemble Supersonus, similarly crossing borders, opened the summer 2019 season with an appearance at the INNtöne Jazz Festival in Diersbach, Austria, in June.

 

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 1.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Interludio 03:02 
     
 2.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Nebjana I 00:43 
     
 3.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Basin Street Blues 03:38 
     
 4.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Nebjana II 00:20 
     
 5.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - As Time Goes By 01:59 
     
 6.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Pippo non lo sa 01:25 
     
 7.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Fischia il vento 02:17 
     
 8.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Moonlight Serenade 04:34 
     
 9.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - In cerca di te 02:41 
     
 10.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Bel Ami 03:02 
     
 11.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Eco 01:48 
     
 12.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - EIAR 07:17 
     
 13.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Gragnola 05:17 
     
 14.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Nebjana III 00:34 
     
 15.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Inno dei sommergibili 01:43 
     
 16.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Umberto 03:05 
     
 17.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Volando 02:29 
     
 18.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - La Piccinina 03:41 
     
 19.  Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia - Moonlight Serenade (Var.) 01:11 
     
 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia

La misteriosa musica della Regina Loana

 

Gianluigi Trovesi: alto and piccolo clarinets

Gianni Coscia: accordion

 

Digital release date: June 21, 2019

CD release date: July 5, 2019

 

ECM 2652                

B0030410-02

UPC: 6025 773 8787 6                                          

 

 

There is nothing more seductive than artfulness, when it has the humility to disguise itself as artlessness. And especially when it generates, at every new quotation or invention, a feast of timbre capable of getting the maximum possible out of the instruments, in a natural way … This then is one way to add a popular dimension to cultivated music and a cultivated dimension to popular music. So there’s no need to wonder about in which temple we should place the music of Coscia and Trovesi. On a street corner or in a concert hall, they would feel at home just the same.                                                                                                                      -  Umberto Eco

 

 

The late novelist and polymath Umberto Eco (1932-2016) was a lifelong friend of accordionist Gianni Coscia and an ardent champion of the Trovesi-Coscia duo.  The author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum wrote liner notes for each of the duo’s previous ECM albums: In cerca di cibo (recorded 1999), Round About Weill (2004), and Frère Jacques: Round About Offenbach (2009). 

 

On the present recording, Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia pay tribute to their distinguished comrade. Eco’s partly autobiographical novel La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana (The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana), is also a meditation on the nature of memory, and it inspires Trovesi and Coscia on their own nostalgic and exploratory journey, referencing music mentioned in the book and free-associating upon its philosophical themes.  As ever, the Italians cast a wide net.  They play songs associated with Louis Armstrong (“Basin Street Blues”), Glenn Miller (“Moonlight Serenade”) and George Formby (“It’s In The Air”, quoted in “Volando”).  They paraphrase Janáček’s In The Mists (fog is a recurring theme in Eco’s novel), and dip into movie music (from Casablanca’s “As Time Goes By” to “Bel Ami, from the German film of the same name). And, of course, the two musicians improvise, most creatively, while keeping their dedicatee in view.  

 

Gianni Coscia: “We have tried to run back through some of the book’s countless musical cues, as best we could and with no claims to completeness. In some cases, we have also inserted a few things that the author certainly had in mind but didn’t express explicitly.”

 

The album opens with “Interludio”, a piece that Umberto Eco and Gianni Coscia collaborated on more than 70 years ago - when Coscia was 14 and Eco 13.  The music inspired the young Eco to write accompanying verse pertinent to the work at hand: “…Musician, absorbed and inclined / Unveiling new worlds of silence /Tender incarnations of phantasms in sound / Vanish, warily, into memory.” (Eco was himself an amateur musician, playing trumpet, cello and recorder.)

 

“Basin Street Blues” is a particular delight among many here.  Recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1928, it is for Coscia and Trovesi “an emblem of the early days of jazz and our musical intention is to stress the dazzling discovery, on this side of the Atlantic, of an art that was all but unknown when not prohibited.”

 

Writing in Jazz Times about  In Cerca di Cibo, Bill Shoemaker made the observation that“Musicians like Coscia [born in 1931] who made the transition to jazz early on, lacked the musical data to become faux Americans; by necessity, they filled the information void with an Italian sensibility. This produced a shot-in-the-dark synthesis of early jazz and folkloric improvisational traditions”, a synthesis which Trovesi and Coscia have continued to nurture. As Umberto Eco put it, “We are in the presence of a new transversality where distinctions of genre are vanishing.”

 

In the eclectic sound-world of Gianluigi and Gianni, Eco said, “the meeting of apparently incompatible traditions conjures up the ghosts of non-existent musical families.” With the application of some ironic distancing, such ‘families’ may even include Italian patriotic songs of the Second World War such as  “Inno dei sommergibili” (“The Submariner’s Song”), whose propagandistic lyrics spoke of “the brave marine laughing in the face of Lady Death” – also part of the soundtrack of the last century.  Eco notes, in his Queen Loana book, that Italian radio in the early 1940s “made it seem as if life were running on two different tracks: on one, the war bulletins, on the other, the endless lessons in optimism and gaiety that our orchestras offered in such abundance.” 

 

In exploring such musical memories, the Trovesi-Coscia duo are also sketching a picture of an era. But they also venture beyond it with their “out of context homage”. The two pieces here called “Umberto” and “Eco” are, Coscia explains, “the improvised, polyphonic result of Trovesi’s gematria on the surname Eco and the name Umberto.”

 

***

 

Gianluigi Trovesi was born in 1944 in the village of Nembro in northern Italy, and studied at the Bergamo Conservatory, gaining his diploma in clarinet in 1966. Hearing Eric Dolphy play at the Milan festival in 1964 was a significant experience, but Trovesi's interests and influences embraced virtually every type of music, from Italian folk to the jazz avant-garde. By 1978, he was working as first alto sax and clarinet with the Milan Radio Big Band, a position he would occupy until 1993.

 

He arrived at ECM in 1994, his alto saxophone and clarinets soaring into the Skies of Europeproposed by the Italian Instabile Orchestra.  The duo with old friend Gianni Coscia made an immediate impact with In cerca di cibo, a left-field recording full of mordant humour, improvisational wit, unrepentant nostalgia, and exceptional musicianship that roved easily between jazz and chamber music, folk and soundtrack music, with a hint of klezmer.

 

Trovesi’s other projects on ECM include Vaghissimo Ritratto, on which he appears with Umberto Petrin (piano) and Fulvio Maras (percussion, electronics), hailed by the Irish Times as “improvised chamber music of stunning quality and adventure, melodic grace and rhythmic freedom” and Fugace, a rampant genre-hopping adventure by an all-Italian octet. His albumTrovesi All’Opera – Profumo di Violetta is a typically quirky Trovesi take on Italian opera performed, as Ivan Hewitt wrote in the Daily Telegraph, by “a turbo-charged version of a traditional Italian town band”.

 

Gianni Coscia, born in Alessandria - also Eco’s hometown - was a lawyer for many years, work that relegated music to the back-burner. Even in this period however he played with visiting American musicians including Joe Venuti, Bud Freeman and Sir Charles Thompson. In 1985 he released a widely acclaimed album L’altra fisharmonica which featured his accordion in combination with a string quartet and explored variations on Italian popular themes. La Briscola, a 1989 recording, signalled a reunion with Trovesi, who has partnered the accordionist in many projects since then. Coscia has appeared with the Giorgio Gaslini Big Band and worked with orchestras playing music of Kurt Weill and Astor Piazzolla, and toured the world as accompanist to singer Milva, also working with Gioconda Cilio, Maria Pia De Vito and Lucia Minetti. He has also collaborated with Enrico Rava, Pino Minafra, Paolo Damiani and other Italian improvisers, and with composer Luciano Berio – who dedicated his Sequenza XIII to Gianni Coscia.

 

La misteriosa musica della Regina Loana (album title suggested by Stefano Eco) was recorded at Night and Day Studio, Casinagrossa and mixed in Lugano.  The CD booklet includes liner notes by Gianni Coscia (in Italian, English and German), drawings by Umberto Eco, and studio photography by Roberto Cifarelli.  

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GA Russell

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Avishai Cohen / Yonathan Avishai - Playing The Room
release date: September 6, 2019

Avishai Cohen: trumpet     Yonathan Avishai: piano

Playing The Room bears testimony to the long musical friendship of Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai. They began to explore jazz as teenagers in Tel Aviv, and have continued to play together over many years, with Yonathan making important contributions to Avishai's group albums Into The Silence and Cross My Palm With Silver on ECM. Their first duo album begins with music composed by the trumpeter and by the pianist and concludes with a touching interpretation of Israeli composer Alexander Argov's cradle song "Shir Eres". Along the way, Avishai and Yonathan improvise - freely, playfully, soulfully - on themes from jazz tradition. And, as the album titles implies, they also invite the recording space, the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano, to be part of the sound, making full use of its resonant acoustic properties in a performance with the intimacy and focus of chamber music. Recorded in September 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher, Playing The Room releasing on both audiophile vinyl and compact disc.

ECM

Image

Enrico Rava /Joe Lovano - Roma
release date: September 6, 2019
Enrico Rava: flugelhorn; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, tarogato;
Giovanni Guidi: piano; Dezron Douglas: double bass Gerald Cleaver: drums

Enrico Rava, the doyen of Italian jazz, joined forces with Joe Lovano, masterful US tenorist of Sicilian heritage, for a brief tour in November 2018. On this album, recorded live at Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica, the two masters lead a spirited quintet that includes lyrical pianist Giovanni Guidi, dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and virtuosic bassist Dezron Douglas (making his ECM debut here). Well-loved tunes by the two bandleaders form the core of the program, including Enrico's intricate "Interiors" and "Secrets" and Joe's vigorous Texas blues "Forth Worth", which recalls the energies of Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman. The album concludes with an extended and powerful medley that roams across the history of modern jazz as it gathers together Lovano's "Drum Song", John Coltrane's "Spiritual" and the standard tune "Over The Rainbow". 

ECM

Image

 

Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell - Common Practice
release Date: September 20, 2019
Ethan Iverson: piano; Tom Harrell: trumpet
Ben Street: double bass; Eric McPherson: drums 

Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell in concert:
Oct. 15 Cambridge, MA at the Regattabar
Oct. 16 New York, NY at the Jazz Standard
Oct.17 Philadelphia, PA (venue tba)
***further dates in preparation

The latest ECM album to feature pianist Ethan Iverson - following last year's duo recording with saxophonist Mark Turner, Temporary Kings, and two lauded discs with the Billy Hart Quartet - presents the Brooklyn-based artist at the head of his own quartet in a program of standards and blues, recorded live at Manhattan's famed Village Vanguard. The Guardian has praised the former Bad Plus pianist as "endlessly resourceful," while Time Out New York selected him as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons, describing Iverson as "perhaps NYC's most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition - the most admirable sort of artist-scholar." Iverson's quartet for Common Practice features as its prime melodic voice the veteran Tom Harrell, who was voted Trumpeter of the Year in 2018 by the U.S. Jazz Journalists Association. Iverson extols the quality of poetic "vulnerability" in Harrell's playing, particularly in such ballads as "The Man I Love" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," two of the album's highlights. Common Practice also courses with an effervescent swing, thanks to the top-flight rhythm team of bassist Ben Street and drummer Eric McPherson, whose subtle invention helps drive Denzil Best's bebop groover "Wee" and two irresistibly bluesy Iverson originals.

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I’m interested in the Rava-Lovano album, will skip the others.

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I'm interested in the Iverson. :tup:D

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Bravo ECM for making these long OOP albums available for streaming. That's the way to do it. 

Some interesting stuff here.  

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Enrico Rava /Joe Lovano - Roma
release date: September 6, 2019
Enrico Rava: flugelhorn; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, tarogato;
Giovanni Guidi: piano; Dezron Douglas: double bass Gerald Cleaver: drums

Enrico Rava, the doyen of Italian jazz, joined forces with Joe Lovano, masterful US tenorist of Sicilian heritage, for a brief tour in November 2018. On this album, recorded live at Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica, the two masters lead a spirited quintet that includes lyrical pianist Giovanni Guidi, dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and virtuosic bassist Dezron Douglas (making his ECM debut here). Well-loved tunes by the two bandleaders form the core of the program, including Enrico's intricate "Interiors" and "Secrets" and Joe's vigorous Texas blues "Forth Worth", which recalls the energies of Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman. The album concludes with an extended and powerful medley that roams across the history of modern jazz as it gathers together Lovano's "Drum Song", John Coltrane's "Spiritual" and the standard tune "Over The Rainbow". 

 

ECM

Image

Avishai Cohen / Yonathan Avishai - Playing The Room
release date: September 6, 2019

Avishai Cohen: trumpet     Yonathan Avishai: piano

Playing The Room bears testimony to the long musical friendship of Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai. They began to explore jazz as teenagers in Tel Aviv, and have continued to play together over many years, with Yonathan making important contributions to Avishai's group albums Into The Silence and Cross My Palm With Silver on ECM. Their first duo album begins with music composed by the trumpeter and by the pianist and concludes with a touching interpretation of Israeli composer Alexander Argov's cradle song "Shir Eres". Along the way, Avishai and Yonathan improvise - freely, playfully, soulfully - on themes from jazz tradition. And, as the album titles implies, they also invite the recording space, the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano, to be part of the sound, making full use of its resonant acoustic properties in a performance with the intimacy and focus of chamber music. Recorded in September 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher, Playing The Room releasing on both audiophile vinyl and compact disc.

ECM

Image

 

Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell - Common Practice
release Date: September 20, 2019
Ethan Iverson: piano; Tom Harrell: trumpet
Ben Street: double bass; Eric McPherson: drums 

Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell in concert:
Oct. 15 Cambridge, MA at the Regattabar
Oct. 16 New York, NY at the Jazz Standard
Oct.17 Philadelphia, PA (venue tba)
***further dates in preparation

The latest ECM album to feature pianist Ethan Iverson - following last year's duo recording with saxophonist Mark Turner, Temporary Kings, and two lauded discs with the Billy Hart Quartet - presents the Brooklyn-based artist at the head of his own quartet in a program of standards and blues, recorded live at Manhattan's famed Village Vanguard. The Guardian has praised the former Bad Plus pianist as "endlessly resourceful," while Time Out New York selected him as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons, describing Iverson as "perhaps NYC's most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition - the most admirable sort of artist-scholar." Iverson's quartet for Common Practice features as its prime melodic voice the veteran Tom Harrell, who was voted Trumpeter of the Year in 2018 by the U.S. Jazz Journalists Association. Iverson extols the quality of poetic "vulnerability" in Harrell's playing, particularly in such ballads as "The Man I Love" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," two of the album's highlights. Common Practice also courses with an effervescent swing, thanks to the top-flight rhythm team of bassist Ben Street and drummer Eric McPherson, whose subtle invention helps drive Denzil Best's bebop groover "Wee" and two irresistibly bluesy Iverson originals.

 

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 1.  George and Ira Gershwin - The Man I Love 06:26 
     
 2.  Ethan Iverson - Philadelphia Creamer 05:59 
     
 3.  Denzil Best - Wee 05:46 
     
 4.  Vernon Duke, Ira Gershwin - I Can’t Get Started 06:36 
     
 5.  Les Brown, Benjamin Homer, Bud Green - Sentimental Journey 04:33 
     
 6.  John Green, Edward Heyman - Out Of Nowhere 06:32 
     
 7.  Jimmy van Heusen, Johnny Burke - Polka Dots And Moonbeams 06:01 
     
 8.  Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II - All The Things You Are 05:51 
     
 9.  Ethan Iverson - Jed From Teaneck 06:31 
     
 10.  George Bassman, Ned Washington - I’m Getting Sentimental Over You 05:10 
     
 11.  Victor Schertzinger, Johnny Mercer - I Remember You 06:25 
     
 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Ethan Iverson Quartet

Common Practice

 

Ethan Iverson: piano

Tom Harrell: trumpet

Ben Street: double-bass

Eric McPherson: drums

 

Release date: September 20, 2019

 

ECM 2643                                                               

B0030993-02

UPC : 6025 778 3350 2

 

Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell in concert:
October 15       Cambridge, MA             Regattabar
October 16       New York, NY             Jazz Standard
October 17       Philadelphia, PA           venue tba
***further dates in preparation

 

The latest ECM album to feature pianist Ethan Iverson – following last year’s duo recording with saxophonist Mark Turner, Temporary Kings, and two lauded discs with the Billy Hart Quartet – presents the Brooklyn-based artist at the head of his own quartet in a program of standards and blues, recorded live at Manhattan’s famed Village Vanguard. The Guardian has praised the former Bad Plus pianist as “endlessly resourceful,” while Time Out New York selected him as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons, describing Iverson as “perhaps NYC's most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition – the most admirable sort of artist-scholar.” Iverson’s quartet for Common Practice features as its prime melodic voice the veteran Tom Harrell, who was voted Trumpeter of the Year in 2018 by the U.S. Jazz Journalists Association. Iverson extols the quality of poetic “vulnerability” in Harrell’s playing, particularly in such ballads as “The Man I Love” and “Polka Dots & Moonbeams,” two of the album’s highlights. Common Practice also has a buoyant swing, thanks to the rhythm team of bassist Ben Street and drummer Eric McPherson, whose subtle invention helps drive Denzil Best’s bebop groover “Wee” and two irresistibly bluesy Iverson originals, “Philadelphia Creamer” and “Jed from Teaneck.”

 

Reflecting on the contextual theme of Common Practice, Iverson says: “The first night I came to New York in the fall of 1991, I was an 18-year-old from Wisconsin. I had never been to the big city, but I knew I loved jazz. That night, I went to the Village Vanguard, and there was a quintet there – with Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, John Abercrombie, Rufus Reid and Ed Blackwell – playing great jazz. It was one of those unforgettable nights. My new album, Common Practice, is a love letter to that kind of straight-ahead New York City jazz. It features Mr. Harrell on trumpet – he’s a master musician of an elder generation – and two contemporaries of mine, Ben Street and Eric McPherson, who are dedicated swingers. This album is about swinging, about playing standards. I’ve been involved with a lot of modern jazz that’s about deconstructing the history. I think it’s really important to do that – you have to find something new. If you’re not going to look for something new, maybe you shouldn’t even be involved in the arts… But at some point, many artists try to reassess the tradition and their heritage, and this album is about that tradition, that heritage.”

 

There was no sheet music for this record, Iverson explains: “There was a list of songs, and we played a couple of blues pieces that weren’t notated – it was all about a common language that the four of us share. After a week at the Vanguard, we had all agreed on what our roles were in the ensemble. We found those roles through the gig, and we rolled tape on arrangements that had real structure – but organic structure that came about through live performance.” Common Practice opens with George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love,” given an expansive, especially ruminative treatment. In his liner notes to the album, Kevin Sun notes: “At 70, Harrell still has the dexterity of youth during his pristine double-time runs, but his delivery of the ‘The Man I Love’ is as naked and unguarded as one might ever hear. The spectral introduction is a recognizable Iverson trademark, with curated dissonances casting shadows beneath simple melody.” The pianist adds: “‘The Man I Love,’ from 1924, is the oldest Gershwin tune in the standard repertoire, almost a century old now. It has been played so many times that it can be a challenge to play a truly new version. The piano intro I play on it is very different, idiosyncratic. I think it sets up a fresh palette for Tom to play a really beautiful rendition of that famous melody.”

 

Although Iverson’s pianism is shrewdly, poetically apposite throughout Common Practice – witness his rhapsodic touches in the solo intro and ending of “I Can’t Get Started” – his playing is often remarkably restrained. He says: “Some jazz pianists like to treat a rhythm section like an orchestra in a concerto: ‘Just give me a beat, and I’ll go to the stratosphere of my own virtuosity.’ I’d like to do that – someday. But for this record, I wanted to work in the middle, to help things gel.” Along with swinging treatments of “All the Things You Are,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “Out of Nowhere” and “I Remember You,” the album includes a funky, Monk-ish take on “Sentimental Journey” fully led by Iverson, although Sun notes that the tune is “a faded postcard from the big-band era that gives Harrell the chance to dip into the Roy Eldridge bag for a moment.” Iverson says: “Tom has a commitment to the jazz tradition that’s deep. At the same time, I think he’s committed to surprising himself. He follows a melody to an unexpected place.” Referencing Harrell’s affecting way with a ballad like “Polka Dots & Moonbeams,” the pianist adds: “He’s very vulnerable up there on stage. It’s kind of like when you see an older movie with an action hero like Steve McQueen or Lee Marvin – they’re tough guys, but you can see in their faces that they’re hurting. Tom has some of that in his own way.”

 

As for the quartet’s rhythm section, Iverson says: “It’s deep what Ben and Eric do with the beat. It’s not just four quarter-notes in the bass and a ride-cymbal pattern – it’s something mystical, spiritual. Ben is an old friend, a big teacher of mine. I’ve learned a lot about this music from him, and I really trust him. He suggested Eric for this, and I had always liked his drumming, having heard him play a lot in the Fred Hersch Trio. But I was curious about why Ben thought Eric would be so perfect for playing standards with me – but as soon as we started, it made sense. His time feel is both ancient and modern… None of us is approaching straight-ahead jazz like we want it to sound like 1955 or 1945 or 1965. We’re playing in the 21st-century. But what I hope gives it depth is a commitment to the tradition, and when it comes to Ben and Eric, it’s about esoteric aspects of that tradition, nothing academic.”

 

Since Iverson came to New York City from the Midwest, he has worked with artists from Lee Konitz, Albert “Tootie” Heath and Ron Carter to Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Tim Berne, along with serving as music director for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Then there was Iverson’s 17-year, 14-album tenure as one-third of The Bad Plus, the genre-bounding trio that he co-founded with bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King in 2000. The pianist teaches at the New England Conservatory, and he has established Do the Math as one of the foremost blogs in jazz over the past decade. After their final set at the Vanguard, Harrell mentioned to Iverson that he thought the group’s sound felt new, despite the vintage repertoire. In his notes, Sun concludes that jazz “is actually numerous concurrent histories and communities where towering personalities come and go, stories and legends are passed down, and much is ultimately forgotten while only a fragment remains. For Iverson, a long-held dream is realized here in his overlapping of the traditional and the avant-garde, the premodern and the postmodern, and the old and the new meeting at a single point.”

 

 

 
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 1.  Enrico Rava - Interiors 15:07 
     
 2.  Enrico Rava - Secrets 09:46 
     
 3.  Joe Lovano - Fort Worth 12:32 
     
 4.  Joe Lovano - Divine Timing 09:57 
     
 5.  Joe Lovano / John Coltrane / Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg - Drum Song [0:00-3:36] / Spiritual / Over The Rainbow [13:40-18:06] 18:49 
     
 

 

ECM

 

 

 

Enrico Rava, Joe Lovano

Roma

 

Enrico Rava: flugelhorn

Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, tarogato

Giovanni Guidi: piano

Dezron Douglas: double bass

Gerald Cleaver: drums

 

Release date: September 6, 2019

ECM 2654                

B0030939-02

UPC: 6025 774 2428 1      

                       

Enrico Rava, the doyen of Italian jazz, joined forces with Joe Lovano, masterful US tenorist of Sicilian heritage, for a brief tour in November 2018. On this album, recorded live at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, the two masters lead a spirited quintet that includes lyrical pianist Giovanni Guidi, dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and virtuosic bassist Dezron Douglas (making his ECM debut here). Well-loved tunes by the two bandleaders form the core of the program, including Enrico’s intricate “Interiors” and “Secrets” and Joe’s vigorous Texas blues “Fort Worth”, as well as a Lovano original “Divine Timing”, written especially for this ensemble. The album concludes with an extended and powerful medley that roams across the history of modern jazz as it gathers together Lovano’s “Drum Song”, John Coltrane’s “Spiritual” and the standard tune “Over The Rainbow”.

Although they have known each other for a very long time, Rava and Lovano had scarcely played together previously. More than 20 years ago a handful of shared gigs with Miroslav Vitous and Tony Oxley gave a hint of potential to be explored, but the 2018 tour marked the first time that the two bandleaders had shaped and developed repertoire in tandem. Clearly, they share some aesthetic priorities – both might be described as tradition-conscious musical adventurers. Lovano recalls hearing Enrico for the first time in the 1970s: “You could always hear that he had a great passion for the music of Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham and Dizzy Gillespie on one side – and for people like Don Cherry on the other side. And that openness and his huge passion about jazz really inspired me. So I thought, over the years, that we were meant to play together eventually. And now I am really happy about this album...”

 

For his part, Rava notes that “Joe is an absolute master and he plays with an incredible warmth. I feel very close to him since we both have roots deep in the tradition but also project into the future without any self-censorship.”

 

The inspired rhythm section was assembled by pianist Giovanni Guidi, formerly one of Rava’s gifted disciples and now a major bandleader in his own right (see for instance the recent album Avec le temps). Guidi and drummer Gerald Cleaver have participated in several projects together over the last decade including the ECM album Ida Lupino (with Gianluca Petrella and Louis Sclavis). And Giovanni and bassist Dezron Douglas have latterly collaborated in a quintet with trumpet