ECM: C/D, S&D

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Manfred Eicher's retirement home for clapped-out fusioneers, where ScandBland new-age is the only game in town and every bloody record somehow manages to sounds the same (whether its bandoneon, sax or 12-string acoustic) and every cover is an Athena knock-off.

Or a label with an admirably consistent aesthetic, constantly evolving and innovating, serenity served up in audiophilic nuggets, wrapped in beautiful sleeves.

Peaks? Troughs? Feel free to included ECM New Series and (if you're Mark S) tell us how ECM fell so far from favour with The Wire...

Judging by the listening list at the back of 'Nothing', Paul Morley's a bit of a fan.

Michael Jones, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm surprised they haven't signed Sigur Ros.

dave q, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

HUGE dud: Jan Garbarek (or "Janny G" as he's often nicknamed on the ECM list). Smooooth!

Classics: Jarrett's maniacal virtuoso piano-bashing, Charlie Haden (esp. the "Ornette's band without Ornette" Old and New Dreams), Puntin/Gunnarsdottir, Abercrombie (esp. Gateway), Rypdal, Surman. I can't say I have any ambition to investigate the whole catalogue (one Stephan Micus album is enough, thanks), but there's more to ECM than proto-new-age.

Andrew Norman, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

are you the same Andrew Norman that used to do reviews of Wurlitzer Jukebox 7"s?

gareth, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Taking sides - Keith Jarrett v. Keith Emerson

dave q, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Morley's always been a Jarrett fan. Search: my JanG wire review which kicked off w. a discussion of Noggin the Nog!!

Speaking as one who has now contributed for (tho not to) VERY NEARLY 200 ISSUES K- BLIMEY, I think Wire attitude to ECM has ALWAYS been very ambivalent. R.Cook was probably super-diplomatic — sometimes his genius, sometimes his crime — but the sense was that their success as a label actually somewhat occluded bettah-favoured Euro- indies like eg Black Saint or hat HUT...

mark s, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Just once I'd like to limit Eicher to using ONE ambient mic in the studio and see what would happen.

dave q, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't have that much on ECM. But the Keith Jarrett and Dave Holland albums I have are nice.

Josh, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

They put out Arvo Part recordings, that's good enough for me.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classics: The Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, and Art Ensemble of Chicago ('Nice Guys' especially, seems like a rather weird fit for ECM) records that they have put out. I wouldn't mind checking out some of their Jack deJohnette or old John Abercrombie stuff either.

Duds: Most of the mannered and Third Stream records that constitute the so-called "ECM sound" (not like I've listened extensively to them, though).

Jordan, Saturday, 25 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Conclusive case for the prosecution.

Compare and contrast "Song for Someone" by the Kenny Wheeler big band on Incus with "Music for Large and Small Ensembles" by more or less the same line-up on ECM. The latter sounds like all the life has been bled out of it.

Most atypical, and therefore best, ECM release: "Afternoon of a Georgia Fawn" by Marion Brown; the missing link between "Bitches Brew" and Braxton.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 27 August 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Classic: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 12 January 2003 23:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Jack DeJohnette Special Edition with Blythe and Murray. Just listened to it a couple of days ago. Fantastic album.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Sunday, 12 January 2003 23:17 (seventeen years ago) link

anyone heard julian priester's 'love, love'? saw it kicking about in a rec shop, know it has a reputation, imagine it is hideous

zemko (bob), Sunday, 12 January 2003 23:26 (seventeen years ago) link

(i like sextant obv)

zemko (bob), Sunday, 12 January 2003 23:27 (seventeen years ago) link

I just saw a Meredith Monk record ("Dolemn music"?) on ECM used for three bucks. Should I run back and get it?

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 13 January 2003 03:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes you should.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 13 January 2003 04:45 (seventeen years ago) link

C: Marion Brown 'Afternoon of a Georgia Faun', Philipp Wachsmann/Paul Lytton 'Some Other Season', both Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble dics, and Robin Williamson's 'The Seed-at-Zero'.

the first two are as beautiful as abstract music ever gets. the Parker discs are remarkable examples of e-a improv, provided that you can get past Eicher's inappropriately spacious production. and Williamson's tribute to Dylan Thomas is rather atypical, both for the musician and for ECM, with nary a hint of ISB's psychotropic excess (or Eicher's cathedral-ceiling echo) to be heard in its solemn, skeletal settings of Thomas' poems.

summerslastsound (summerslastsound), Monday, 13 January 2003 14:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Both Love, Love and Dolmen Music are urgent and key. Also the Paris Concert by Circle (Braxton, Corea, Holland, Altschul). And of course ECM distribute WattWorks in Europe, i.e. all the Carla Bley/Michael Mantler stuff.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 13 January 2003 14:18 (seventeen years ago) link

I'd like to pick up a copy of Doleman Music myself. That sounds like a good buy. (I forgot that was on ECM.) There's also some Steve Reich on ECM, but some of it might be superseded by more current recordings. (I still haven't heard the new recording of Tehilim.

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 13 January 2003 16:09 (seventeen years ago) link

the legendary "first 30" releases (cat. nos. 1001-1030) which some jazzheads pontificated about on rec.music.jazz years ago. the aforementioned "georgia faun" by marion brown is part of this group, and there are some surprisingly dense, iconoclast euro-free titles by artists who later used ECM as a nice soft pillow to lay down upon.

the hal russell NRG ensemble "the hal russell story".

there are a few others but it's too early and I haven't cared enough about jazz lately to remember.

mosurock (mosurock), Monday, 13 January 2003 16:22 (seventeen years ago) link

have always been into keith jarrett "standards vol 1" (awsome cover of "god bless the child") and "koln concert".

other good stuff includes gateway, feat. john abercrombie (sp?) who is somewhat similar to bill frisell's at points. also the early, pre-lame, pre-midi pat metheney.

marcg (marcg), Monday, 13 January 2003 17:12 (seventeen years ago) link

I've enjoyed: Circle, Paris-Concert; Metheny, Bright Size Life and Watercolors; Dave Holland, Conference of the Birds and Extensions; Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Crystal Silence; Eberhard Weber, Silent Feet, Little Movements, Yellow Fields, and The Colours of Chloe; Art Ensemble of Chicago, Urban Bushmen; Carla Bley, Night-Glo; the Gateway album; Marc Johnson, Bass Desires; and lots of other stuff. I've been disappointed by: Dave Holland, Life Cycle; Carla Bley, Heavy Heart; Eberhard Weber, Fluid Rustle; most of Jan Garbarek's stuff, especially that wildly misconceived album with the Hilliard Ensemble.

Phil (phil), Monday, 13 January 2003 20:05 (seventeen years ago) link

One of these days I'll figure out why my line breaks keep disappearing.

Phil (phil), Monday, 13 January 2003 20:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I stopped buying Garbarek albums about ten years ago. But the late released live Personal Mountain with Keith Jarrett is a keeper. Nude Ants from the same time is another must. His tenor sax sound is something special. Very clear and fjordian. But thee ECM release to own is Keith Jarrett's Sun Bear Concerts. The summit of Jarrett's solo improvisations. Lots of ecstatic moaning, lots of free jazz, lots of climaxes, lots of incredible beauty. Ten records.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Monday, 13 January 2003 20:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Sorry, Personal Mountains was the name of the Jarrett/Garbarek album.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Monday, 13 January 2003 20:35 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...
Revive, if you please.

ECM: Found huddled outside a Starbucks beneath the much-maligned umbrella of "NPR Music," or a still-relevant home to transcendent, spacious music with a minimum of fuss? Are they only as good as their classic back-catalogue? Does the New Series wave of innocuous and "tasteful" artistry leave a bad taste in your mouth (or no taste whatsoever)?

IMHO, their Steve Reich issues are some of the finest Reich extant, including the definitive renditions of Music for 18 Musicians, Violin Phase, Octet, etc. I love Anouar Brahem, enjoy Tomasz Stanko, and admire their volume of Silvestrov/Shevchenko's Silent Songs.

That said, I'm not sold on 100% (or even 75%) of what I hear on ECM, but it's one of the few labels that I routinely give the benefit of the doubt if I'm on the fence about wasting $20 from time to time. I'm entirely in favor of their leanings towards artsy European starkness, but I wish Manfred Eicher would learn to get by on less reverb.

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 06:56 (fourteen years ago) link

wow, i've never seen an ecm record for more than 8$

team jaxon (jaxon), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 07:18 (fourteen years ago) link

I've been really liking the four Gary Burton ECM albums that I have picked up in the past few months: "Passengers", "Dreams So Real", "The New Quartet" and "Ring".

I have also been suprised how much parts of Eberhardt Weber albums from the 70s sound like Tortoise.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 09:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Speaking as one who has now contributed for (tho not to) VERY NEARLY 200 ISSUES K- BLIMEY, I think Wire attitude to ECM has ALWAYS been very ambivalent. R.Cook was probably super-diplomatic — sometimes his genius, sometimes his crime — but the sense was that their success as a label actually somewhat occluded bettah-favoured Euro- indies like eg Black Saint or hat HUT...

I think that ECM's huge advertising budget may have been a contributory factor to that particular "ambivalence."

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 10:37 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

The NY Times and a Seattle paper love the new ECM label album Arco Iris from Moroccan vocalist Amina Alaoui who performs old Andalusian compositions here. I haven't heard it but I am intrigued. Ilxer Sanpaku liked the Jon Balke & Amina Alaoui album Siwan that came out on ECM a year or 2 back.

I also just mentioned it here:
Arabic music (not elsewhere classified)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 14:51 (nine years ago) link

the other ECM thread

ECM s/d.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 14:53 (nine years ago) link

Posted this on the Arabic music thread but its an ECM label album

Some of the Amina Alaoui album is a little too samey--melancholy nearly fado-like vocals and minimalist flamenco guitar strumming, but on other cuts her voice is exquisite and the instrumental work just lively enough.

― curmudgeon, Thursday, July 14, 2011 1:12 PM

curmudgeon, Friday, 15 July 2011 16:27 (nine years ago) link

six years pass...

Is there a comprehensive digital repository for 70s ECM gubbins? Preferably not streaming.

The label has a page on Bandcamp but it's barely a handful of relatively recent releases so far, AFAICT.

Noel Emits, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:10 (two years ago) link

Boringly I think iTunes/Amazon are the most reliable. Qobuz have some lossless stuff but it gets pretty pricey: http://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/search?q=ecm&i=boutique&f%5Blabel%5D=ECM+Records#results

ECM stuff rarely turns up on streaming services anyway, the old album shows up for a short while on Apple Music and then disappears again.

I'd definitely pay for some sort of digital ECM subscription, either via Bandcamp or Drip or something - all new releases + curated back catalogue selections.

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:02 (two years ago) link

there's tons that never made it to digital in the first place, right?

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:28 (two years ago) link

Pandora, oddly enough, has a decent ECM catalog.

Eazy, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 18:59 (two years ago) link

So ECM appears to have popped up on Spotify. So that's nice. Can't find Julian Priester, but Benny Maupin is there, and AEOC.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 10 November 2017 16:47 (two years ago) link

Only one AEOC album so far - Tribute To Lester. None of their 80s stuff yet.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 10 November 2017 17:03 (two years ago) link

Urban Bushmen is there, too.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 10 November 2017 17:30 (two years ago) link

And Full Force!

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 10 November 2017 17:32 (two years ago) link

Not in the US, at least not yet.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 10 November 2017 17:33 (two years ago) link

Well whaddya know, loads of ECM stuff on Apple Music in the UK now too. Hooray!

bamboohouses, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:48 (two years ago) link

I said preferably NOT streaming damnit, Manfred.

Noel Emits, Friday, 10 November 2017 18:04 (two years ago) link

I wish someone would do an exploratory ECM back catalog blog like the Kranky one a from few years back.

MaresNest, Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:12 (two years ago) link

US Spotify now has Nice Guys, Urban Bushmen, and The Third Decade up, as well as Lester Bowie's All The Magic!/The One and Only and Works, and Roscoe Mitchell's Nine to Get Ready, Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3, Far Side and Bells For the South Side.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:20 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

God dammit, Eberhard Weber's early records are so beautiful, I've had a couple kicking around for years but never afforded them the proper attention, what a fool.

The Colours Of Chloë might just be the most ECM-y record of all.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 23:37 (two years ago) link

good call, I was just thinking of something to stream right now.

calzino, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 23:45 (two years ago) link

I wonder if Joni was paying attention, some of Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is very reminiscent of Weber's music.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 23:49 (two years ago) link

I started this rather unsuccessful topic some while back.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:18 (two years ago) link

Haha, I posted that ECM Listening IG a bit further up. It's great!

Currently obsessing over the Edward Vesala album mentioned in the Jim O'rourke interview upthread - kind of dark spiritual jazz with awesome drummming and drone-y sections. This label keeps giving.

cooldix, Thursday, 14 May 2020 02:39 (two months ago) link

Poor description, great album.

cooldix, Thursday, 14 May 2020 02:40 (two months ago) link

Appealing description. Although drone-y can be overdone (ILX minority report, yes). Will check, thanks.

dow, Thursday, 14 May 2020 04:12 (two months ago) link

Satu is the 2nd album I've heard with Terje Rypdal where his playing sounds extremely similar to 80s Bill Frisell circa Power Tools (other was the first trio album with Vitous and DeJohnette). I have to imagine Frisell was studying these very closely.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 14 May 2020 04:14 (two months ago) link

Satu is the 2nd album I've heard with Terje Rypdal where his playing sounds extremely similar to 80s Bill Frisell circa Power Tools (other was the first trio album with Vitous and DeJohnette). I have to imagine Frisell was studying these very closely.

I think he did, as he's on this Rypdal-tribute that should appeal to ECM fans.

EvR, Thursday, 14 May 2020 06:30 (two months ago) link

This is a beauty : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ukrdo696vBc

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 14 May 2020 06:35 (two months ago) link

Satu rules but Nan Madol is one of the best ECM albums, full stop.

pomenitul, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:54 (two months ago) link

That Sky Music tribute-to-Rypdal set is fantastic. I visited the Rune Grammofon offices in Oslo a couple of years ago and bought a copy of the ultra-limited edition version (white vinyl, an extra CD).

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 14 May 2020 13:29 (two months ago) link

How are those 2 extra tracks that aren't on the regular cd release, unperson? I still haven't heard those.

EvR, Thursday, 14 May 2020 17:13 (two months ago) link

They're good - long guitar jams, but they hold your attention.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 14 May 2020 17:45 (two months ago) link

Damn, Yellow Fields is so good. Just endlessly flowing like a mountain stream.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 22 May 2020 06:05 (two months ago) link

Haha, listened to that earlier on this evening. Also Ring and Dreams So Real.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 22 May 2020 06:06 (two months ago) link

Quarantine is truly the Season of ECM

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 22 May 2020 06:08 (two months ago) link

Pretty much!

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 22 May 2020 06:21 (two months ago) link

Heard a couple of tracks from the Gateway album (mentioned above) recently for the first time. It was beautiful stuff, some of my favorite "new to me" guitar playing I have heard for some time. I have seen Abercrombie's forever, but I kind of chalked up a whole slew of folks from that era as jazz-fusion guys and most of that stuff for me didn't stick once it got to the mid-70s and beyond. But yeah, this I loved and wasn't that fusion-y at all. I actually made a comment to my friend that it sounded a bit like Frisell to me as well (which someone else noted above too). Gonna try to track that album down, had a joyous feel to it which is appreciated right now.

grandavis, Friday, 22 May 2020 19:43 (two months ago) link

For those completists out there, playlists of the entire ECM catalog in chronological order.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/54hZLPMDWjHVpCi9eJtUPB?si=g1uYq5RTT3eZZnaDy33lKQ

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0XIVL6mL5DoUDF15bCYxF2?si=KSZeZnjrRHSHtB_o7RtnxA

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 23 May 2020 13:19 (two months ago) link

Listening to ECM on Spotify seems totally at odds with the experience of actually listening to an ECM album but that's just me

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 23 May 2020 15:05 (two months ago) link

there are a lot of them, and I only own a tiny fraction

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 23 May 2020 15:06 (two months ago) link

to help make up for this I just snapped up a Ralph Towner vinyl 4 pack of Solstice, Matchbook, Diary, and Sargasso Sea for $30 off ebay.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 23 May 2020 15:46 (two months ago) link

Sargasso Sea is a really good one! I like Batik a lot, too. Never heard Diary or Matchbook.

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 23 May 2020 16:06 (two months ago) link

I think I'm lapsing into full on WeberMania. In the last couple of days I've checked out 'Later That Evening', 'Little Movements', 'Passengers' & 'Fluid Rustle', all new to me, all of which have been good to great IMO. His sense of space and his overall tone really appeal to me.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 28 May 2020 03:51 (two months ago) link

His tone is a mystery to me. Sounds so much like a fretless bass a lot of the time. Much louder and sharper than most upright basses. I suppose a lot of that comes from amplification, but it is very unusual.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 28 May 2020 04:23 (two months ago) link

welcome to the club, sparkle. his music is wondrous and highly rewarding.

re: his tone — i've long suspected he used some subtle modulation effect of some sort. definitely not a flanger or phaser, but the jc-120 (the first instance of chorus that i know of) didn't get released until 1975. would be very curious to know, as well.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 29 May 2020 04:15 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

https://www.ecmrecords.com/shop/1580224264

Accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier (who was in some ace Brahem bands) with classical guitarist Seddeki on a virtuosic but still retaining some sense of looseness and soulfulness sort of nice album!

calzino, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 14:10 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

If I posted about every ECM discovery during Covid times, I’d need my own thread. And yet, a big thanks to those who mentioned Steve Tibbetts above. I managed to pick up a cheap copy of “Exploded View” and, wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Noisy, feedback-drenched guitar, tribal drums and tape experimentation. Another intriguing dimension of the label to explore.

cooldix, Friday, 17 July 2020 17:24 (two weeks ago) link

cycled over to a 2nd hand record store yesterday... first vinyl purchase in months was a cheap copy of Ecotopia by Oregon.
it's a weird one... the two longest tracks are synth drenched and sort of messy... and i'm guessing the reasons why this LP has some bad reviews, everything that surrounds them is much much better. regardless of those 2 synth fests, as per usual everything is so beautifully recorded it doesn't really matter too much? for me, that element + amazing typography and design is the ECM trick for selling me even their shittier lps...

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Friday, 17 July 2020 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

After devouring a steady diet of Weber over the last few months, I've come upon several Pat Metheny LPs lately and have been nuts about them. I tried listening to this stuff 20+ years ago and it all sounded too squishy for me, but now that I'm more squishy it sounds perfect. I can't believe I slept on 'As Falls Wichita' for as long as I did. I think I listened to the title cut half a dozen times in a row. I picked up the first Group LP, along with Offramp and Watercolors as well, all of which I'm crazy about. The synth stuff is perfection imo. Funny that I'm just digging this at this late date but I am who I am.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 17 July 2020 18:04 (two weeks ago) link

The ECM album I've been playing the most lately is Ralph Towner - Solstice. Especially love the track "Nimbus". Also a good album to check out for all you Weber heads.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 17 July 2020 18:21 (two weeks ago) link

I realized I had that one in my Discogs store inventory and after a few spins, delisted it. It's really good.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 17 July 2020 18:43 (two weeks ago) link

I managed to pick up a cheap copy of “Exploded View

nice. i highly recommend safe journey or northern song next. or yr.

or, you know, the entire catalogue. whatever.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 17 July 2020 19:18 (two weeks ago) link

The ECM album I've been playing the most lately is Ralph Towner - Solstice

Towner is among the most underrated ECM mainstays imo. I love Batik too, especially 'Waterwheel'.

pomenitul, Friday, 17 July 2020 19:22 (two weeks ago) link

The 4 Towner albums I picked up on Ebay are all front to back great

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 17 July 2020 19:52 (two weeks ago) link

I got the '78 Metheny Group for next to nothing and it has been one of my 'jigsaw puzzle' soundtracks of lockdown. I don't doubt for a second, despite how fucked up things have been, that I'll look back at this - and the album - as a golden period.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 17 July 2020 20:35 (two weeks ago) link

'78 Metheny Group

listening now and damn. also my friends would murder me if I played this for them.

lukas, Friday, 17 July 2020 21:09 (two weeks ago) link

is this the "Phase Dance" one? It was really famous, but I've never been able to really get into this one.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 17 July 2020 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

That's the one. Seemed really appealing on a first playthrough.

lukas, Friday, 17 July 2020 23:00 (two weeks ago) link

Listening to Batik again and DeJohnette's solo on the title track is pure *chef's kiss*.

pomenitul, Friday, 17 July 2020 23:23 (two weeks ago) link

As is Eddie Gómez's bowed double bass playing.

pomenitul, Friday, 17 July 2020 23:24 (two weeks ago) link

xp It is the Phase Dance one! The whole album is gorgeous.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 18 July 2020 13:16 (two weeks ago) link

This is specific and probably obsessive, but ever since the quarantining started, the first album I listen to every day has been Tibbetts' <i>Northern Songs</i> - sometimes just side two, sometimes the whole thing. I found this interview about the making of the album, where Tibbetts talks about having other loops and sounds that he wanted to add to the album and I'm personally glad it didn't work out for them:

<a href="https://www.allaboutjazz.com/steve-tibbetts-northern-song-and-the-sounds-of-silence-steve-tibbetts-by-rob-caldwell.php";>https://www.allaboutjazz.com/steve-tibbetts-northern-song-and-the-sounds-of-silence-steve-tibbetts-by-rob-caldwell.php<;/a>

I've been making a lot of other ECM discoveries but one thing that strikes me is how tight the albums from 60-69 are - I had heard about the legendary first 30 ECM albums or the first 50, but that run from <i>Solstice</i> to <i>Gnu High</i> is almost desert island stuff for me, I've always loved <i>Yellow Fields</i>, I had never even heard <i>Odyssey</i> - if anyone ever asked me where to start with ECM (a question that never comes up), that's where I'd point them.

savetherobot, Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:31 (two weeks ago) link

(Sorry about the formatting fail, I'm rusty)

savetherobot, Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:32 (two weeks ago) link

Odyssey is incredible

Brad C., Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:44 (two weeks ago) link

i've just put Northern Songs on and my cat has gone full force 100% CHILLED OUT TO THE MAX next to the stereo. magic calming tendencies pumping out of this lp.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Saturday, 18 July 2020 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

i think, when it comes down to it, northern song is probably my favorite tibbetts. but screw picking just one.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Sunday, 19 July 2020 04:28 (two weeks ago) link

I love that Tibbetts record so much. I'm going to need a second lockdown to crawl through the ECM catalogue! Everyone's guidance and remarks here are really helpful. This will be a special listening projects the coming months.

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Sunday, 19 July 2020 10:43 (two weeks ago) link

so, back to ralph towner for a sec—

i just checked out his joint venture with gary burton (matchbook) for the first time on the old internet jukebox today and realized i'm an idiot. i could've bought that record for a dollar probably a hundred times when i lived in reno. but oh well, if i had done that i would have spent a hundred dollars and inexplicably have a hundred copies of the album. i mean, it's a great record, but. . .

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 20 July 2020 03:29 (two weeks ago) link

ECMs I've never heard that I've played in the last couple of days:
Pat Metheny, New Chautauqua & Bright Size Life - liked the really low key stuff the best, otherwise kind of reminded me of the guitar equivalent of a solo Jarrett record. I had heard Bright Size in passing a while ago and thought it was pretty nice sounding. After having gone deep on Pat recently, I wasn't as moved by it as I had expected to be, but it had some uncharacteristic, understated playing by Jaco which I got into.
Rypdal/Vitous/DeJohnette - loved this one
Dave Liebman, Lookout Farm & Drum Ode - I liked about half of each of these. Vocals undid Drum Ode, got a little lost on Lookout Farm, but will revisit both.
Julian Priester, Polarization - I know and adore Love, Love, but had never heard of this one at all. Some funk, some stately tone pieces. Pretty cool as well.
Oregon, Crossing & Ecotopia - the synths on Ecotopia were mentioned as a hazard upthread, but I was ready for them and got into this one. Crossing was better though. I think I need to get into more Oregon.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:54 (one week ago) link

i tried to get into oregon last year. picked up their first two albums (from the vanguard years, so very early 1970s) and just didn't really dig what i heard. wasn't put off by it, just didn't really stick out much.

i used to be one of those metheny haters, but i've since eased off on that after hearing some of his early work as a sideman. need to check out one of his proper albums.

also, after seeing it on the non-meme ecm instagram (linked earlier upthread), i checked out this bill connors album and whoa! it's really interesting and not very ecm-esque (not in the 'classic' sense anyway). almost seems like it would not be too out of place in the post-fahey thread. really searching, undefined music. p rad.

what i've heard of rypdal has been great. he does get a little riffy and showy in his playing sometimes, but it doesn't really feel out of place. side b of his descendre album is probably among the prettiest music that ecm ever did. definitely one for the "in a similarly silent way" crowd.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 30 July 2020 23:15 (four days ago) link

Apple music has ECM's entire streaming output organized by decade, which is cool for deciding whether I want to check out some early classics I haven't had a chance to explore yet or go for the digital synth era. I've yet to make it past 1989 with any ECM release, save for listening to more recent Eberhard Weber over the last couple of days. I didn't realize his output dropped off because he'd had a stroke over a decade ago. Biographically, I know quite little about the ECM coterie. Would be a great topic for a documentary.

That Connors is on my list to check out for sure.

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 31 July 2020 03:25 (three days ago) link

Swimming with a Hole in My Body (such an oddly mysterious title) is my fave Connors release for ECM.

pomenitul, Friday, 31 July 2020 16:05 (three days ago) link


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