The Norwegian jazz composer and guitarist Terje Rypdal's homage to Miles Davis's BITCHES BREW has all the crepuscular electric piano and muted trumpet of the original, with the addition of the atonal "That's More Like It" and the menacing electronic underpinnings of "Jungeltegrafen" emphasizing the continuing influence of contemporary musical genres on jazz.
This relatively early set from Bill Frisell is a fine showcase for the utterly unique guitarist. Frisell has the ability to play nearly any extroverted style of music and his humor (check out the date's "Music I Heard") is rarely far below the surface. This particular quintet (with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, tuba player Bob Stewart, electric bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Paul Motian) is not exactly short of original personalities and their outing (featuring seven Frisell compositions) is one of the most lively of all the ones in the ECM catalog.
If one were to compile a list of iconoclastic and innovative guitarists who came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, the list would have to include such names as Michael Hedges, Adrian Belew, David Torn and Steve Tibbetts. While Tibbetts is probably the least known of the four, his work is easily on par with that of the others. What makes Tibbetts unique among these is that he is equally prone to playing acoustic and electric guitars. He has released several all-acoustic albums, but most of his albums feature a good mixture of both, as well as judicious use of electronic effects and a heavy reliance on a variety of exotic and familiar percussive instruments. Safe Journey is all of the above in a nutshell.
The New York Times has praised violinist Miranda Cuckson’s “undeniable musicality,” while Gramophone has declared her “an artist to be reckoned with.” Born in Australia and educated in America, she makes her ECM New Series debut – alongside pianist Blair McMillen – with three 20th-century milestones: the Hungarian Béla Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 2 (1922), the Russian Alfred Schnittke’s Violin Sonata No. 2 “Quasi una Sonata” (1968) and the Pole Witold Lutoslawski’s Partita for Violin and Piano (1984).
Five-CD limited-edition box set, issued in time for the 30th anniversary of the Austrian chamber-music festival. “Edition Lockenhaus” returns long out-of-print titles to the catalogue, with some of the finest musicians of the New Series, including Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, Thomas Demenga, Robert Levin, Eduard Brunner and many more. Gidon Kremer: “The artistic atmosphere in Lockenhaus soon has everybody speaking on the same wavelength.” The set opens with previously unreleased recordings – from 2001 and 2008 – with Sir Simon Rattle and Roman Kofman conducting Kremerata Baltica in revelatory performances of Richard Strauss’s “Metamorphosen” and Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine”: the committed interpretations convey the spirit of Lockenhaus. Discs two through five focus on music of César Franck, André Caplet, Francis Poulenc, Leos Janácek, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Erwin Schulhoff. Original liner notes, an interview with Kremer, and new texts complete a very special edition.
Unlike the other two Keith Jarrett trio recordings from January 1983, this collaboration with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette does not feature standards. The trio performs the 30-minute "Flying" and a 6-minute "Prism," both of them Jarrett originals. "Flying," which has several sections, keeps one's interest througout while the more concise "Prism" has a beautiful melody. It is a nice change to hear Jarrett (who normally plays unaccompanied) interacting with a trio of superb players.
This limited edition, 'Works Series', gives a reasonable overview of Garbarek's prolific output on ECM over a period of ten years (1970-80). Unusually, three of the eight tracks showcase him playing flute, which would be a rarity now, and both his tenor & soprano sax work is also featured.
"Rejoicing" makes a perfect companion to "Beyond the Missouri Sky." Haden and Metheny share a magnetism on the ground that can only be matched by Lyra and Orion in the night sky. Each tune shines with lyrical brilliance; be it in the softened freedom of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," the dazzling blur of Metheny's clean runs on the title track, or the wailing synthguitar of "The Calling." Higgins on drums complements all the string action. Harmony, harmolodics, and eudemonics: the joy of the musicianship on this album uplifts the listener with its magic.
L. Shankar's Vision is an ethereal tour-de-force – an oxymoron, perhaps, but an appropriate description of the otherworldly visions he conjures with his manipulations of his 10-string, stereophonic, double-necked, electric violin. The lengthy title track is a solo space journey on his massive instrument, with lots of phasing undercurrents and an aural experience of weightlessness that is rather pleasant. On the other tracks, Shankar is flanked by the hot, piercing Jan Garbarek on saxes and the cool Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet and flugelhorn, who contribute heat and ice to Shankar's textures.
Song For Everyone heralds the return of the groove in Shankar's East-West-minded music, with former Shakti colleague Zakir Hussain on tabla, Trilok Gurtu on percussion, and Shankar's own manipulation of a drum machine tending to the rhythms. The result is a brighter, more outgoing record than its predecessor Vision, veering between Western acoustic and electric grooves and the complex beats churned out by the tabla. Jan Garbarek again shines beams of light on soprano and tenor, engaging Shankar's 10-string double-necked electric violin in some complex interplay on the title track.