ECM Records Catalogue

Baida
Ralph Alessi trumpet
Jason Moran piano
Drew Gress double bass
Nasheet Waits drums

Baida

Baida

  1. Baida
  2. Chuck Barris
  3. Gobble Goblins
  4. In-Flight Entertainment
  5. Sanity
  6. Maria Lydia
  7. Shank
  8. Throwing Like A Girl
  9. I Go, You Go
  10. 11/1/10
  11. Baida (reprise)

Recorded October 2012

ECM 2321

There are magic moments when an artist can be said to have well and truly “arrived.” For Ralph Alessi, the release of Baida – his ECM debut as a bandleader – is just such a moment, despite his already extensive resume. Among those in the know, Alessi is renowned as a musician’s musician, a first-call New York trumpeter who can play virtually anything on sight and has excelled as an improviser in groups led by Steve Coleman, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch and Don Byron, as well as leading his own bands. But Alessi has created something breathtaking with Baida, an album sure to beguile a wider audience with its atmospheric depth and melodic allure. To voice his suite of compositions, the trumpeter has convened a powerhouse New York band with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits. As a vessel for the album’s seemingly bottomless lyricism, this quartet of virtuosos plays with extraordinary finesse; but there is also a tensile strength emanating from the performances, a muscularity that one can feel. Then there is the silver of Alessi’s trumpet tone; as The New York Times has said, it has “a rounded luminescence, like the moon in full phase.”


Trios
Carla Bley piano
Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Steve Swallow bass

Trios

Trios

  1. Utviklingssang
  2. Vashkar
  3. Les Trois Lagons (d’apres Henri Matisse)
    • Plate XVII
    • Plate XVIII
    • Plate XIX
  4. Wildlife
    • Horns
    • Paws Without Claws
    • Sex with Birds
  5. The Girl Who Cried Champagne
    • Parts 1, 2 & 3

Recorded April 2012

ECM 2287

Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow revisit classic Bley compositions in an exceptional album recorded in Lugano last year by Manfred Eicher. Included here are spirited new versions of “Utviklingssang” and “Vashkar”, and the suites “Les Trois Lagons”, “Wildlife” and “The Girl Who Cried Champagne”. Carla’s robust tunes are vividly conveyed, all members solo compellingly, and the trio has never sounded better.
Trios is one of the outstanding jazz albums of the season and marks the first time that a new Carla Bley album has appeared on ECM itself (rather than the ECM-distributed WATT label, which has been her primary platform for 40 years).


Snakeoil Shadow Man
Tim Berne alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega clarinet, bass clarinet
Matt Mitchell piano, Tack and Wurlitzer pianos
Ches Smith drums, percussion, vibraphone

Snakeoil Shadow Man

Snakeoil Shadow Man

  1. Son Of Not So Sure
  2. Static
  3. Psalm
  4. OC/DC
  5. Socket
  6. Cornered (Duck)

Recorded January 2013

ECM 2339

Acclaim for the first, eponymous album from saxophonist-composer Tim Berne’s acoustic quartet Snakeoil came from far and wide: All About Jazz described the music as “unpredictable and fresh,” while The Guardian called it “an object lesson in balancing composition, improvisation and the tonal resources of an acoustic band.” The album made the DownBeat critics’ poll of the top 10 best releases of 2012. Berne’s Snakeoil has upped the ante with its second ECM release, Shadow Man. Over four years together, Berne and his band of New York standouts – pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinettist Oscar Noriega and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith – have developed a rapport that sounds like communal telepathy. The studio outcome is a marvel of kinetic action, the six pieces of Shadow Man making for music as visceral as it is cerebral; there is rollercoaster dynamism and aching lyricism, roiling counterpoint and intriguing harmony, glinting detail and ensemble impact. The album is a dizzying experience for the senses, breathtaking in its sheer imaginative verve.


Travel Guide
Ralph Towner classical and 12-string guitars
Wolfgang Muthspiel electric guitar, voice
Slava Grigoryan classical and baritone guitars

Travel Guide

Travel Guide

  1. The Henrysons
  2. Father Time
  3. Windsong
  4. Duende
  5. Amarone Trio
  6. Travel Guide
  7. Die Blaue Stunde
  8. Nico und Mithra
  9. Tarry
  10. Museum of Light

Recorded August 2012

ECM 2310

An international summit meeting, Travel Guide features US guitarist Ralph Towner, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Kazakhstan-born and Australia-raised guitarist Slava Grigoryan. The three musicians first came together in 2005, initially for concerts in Australia, and have since toured widely. A 2009 recording on Muthspiel’s Material Records label documented the group’s early progress. Ralph Towner subsequently brought the project to ECM and the trio recorded this album in Lugano in August 2012, with Manfred Eicher as producer. Towner has been a key ECM recording artist for more than 40 years, while Muthspiel and Grigoryan make label debuts here. Grigoryan is well known as the preeminent Australian classical guitarist of his generation, and Muthspiel’s been an important figure on the transatlantic jazz scene for two decades, with his own bands and as a contributor to groups of Gary Burton, Paul Motian and many others. What all three guitarists share is a strong feeling for structure, a sense for lyrical improvisation and a feeling for space, harnessing instrumental technique to very graceful musical ends. Repertoire features five compositions by Towner, and five by Muthspiel.


Arborescence
Aaron Parks piano

Arborescence

Arborescence

  1. Asleep In The Forest
  2. Toward Awakening
  3. Past Presence
  4. Elsewhere
  5. In Pursuit
  6. Squirrels
  7. Branchings
  8. River Ways
  9. A Curious Bloom
  10. Reverie
  11. Homestead

Recorded November 2012

ECM 2338

“Arborescence” is the word for the way something grows, seeking and adaptive, like a tree – its roots and branches moving under and around things wherever they need to go toward water, toward the sun. Prize-winning young American pianist Aaron Parks titled his ECM debut “Arborescence” because the album’s music is the fruit of a session of solo studio improvisation in which little was predetermined; the pieces developed in the moment like “living things,” in the artist’s words. “The music felt as if it were coming into being and going where it had to go, in that sort of arboreal way.” It’s possible to hear fleeting echoes in this music of Arvo Pärt and Paul Bley, Erik Satie and Kenny Wheeler; but Arborescence is ultimately something deeply individual and intimate, recorded with the lights down low in the warm, clear acoustics of Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Listen close and one can hear Parks whispering part of a melody along with the piano, as if he were playing at home alone, for himself. This is contemplative instrumental poetry that “often felt less like conscious intention,” he says, “and more like something half-dreamed, half-remembered.”


Il Pergolese
Maria Pia De Vito voice
François Couturier piano
Anja Lechner violoncello
Michele Rabbia percussion, electronics

Il Pergolese

Il Pergolese

  1. Ogne pena cchiù spietata
  2. Amen/ Fac Ut Portem
  3. Sinfonia for violoncello
  4. Chi disse ca la femmena
  5. Tre giorni son che Nina
  6. Fremente
  7. In compagnia d’amore I
  8. In compagnia d’amore II
  9. Dolente

Recorded January 2013

ECM 2340

Il Pergolese pays tribute to 18th century composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710 – 1736), and considers his relationship to the art music and the popular music of Naples, from a highly contemporary perspective. The text of the Stabat Mater – translated into Neapolitan by Maria Pia De Vito – and the opera arias, are transformed into songs and vivid narrative, open frames providing the key to reinterpreting Pergolesi. François Couturier’s arrangements widen Pergolesi’s structures, offering space for improvisational interaction. But this is a real group project, a discourse among acoustic sounds, with rhythms of drums and metals, and sampled and real-time electronics. Sound textures grow dense with the richness of instrumental counterpoint or are set free in electronic soundscapes and along coloristic, percussive lines, as cello becomes voice or voice becomes an instrument. The project was commissioned by the Festival Pergolesi-Spontini of Jesi in 2011. The present version was recorded in Lugano in December 2012, and produced by Manfred Eicher.


 

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