The six-CD box set Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note fully documents three nights (six complete sets from June 3-5, 1994) by his trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Never mind that this same group has already had ten separate releases since 1983; this box is still well worth getting. The repertoire emphasizes (but is not exclusively) standards, with such songs as "In Your Own Sweet Way," "Now's the Time," "Oleo," "Days of Wine and Roses," and "My Romance" given colorful and at times surprising explorations.
Encore is a companion volume to Résumé the widely-praised solo album issued in 2011. Eberhard Weber returns once more to the many live recordings of his tenure with the Jan Garbarek Group, isolating his bass solos and reworking them into new pieces with the addition of his own keyboard parts. “I became what you might call a composer of New Music,” says Weber, “with the proviso that I make use of old things.”This season’s special guest is veteran Dutch flugelhorn player Ack van Rooyen.
Gefion, named for the Norse goddess associated with ploughing, prophecy and premonition, is the ECM leader debut of Danish guitarist Jakob Bro. Bro first recorded for ECM with Paul Motian on Garden of Eden in 2004, followed by Tomasz Stanko’s Dark Eyes album of 2009. The guitarist’s feeling for melody, sound-colour and atmosphere served him well in those contexts, as it does here in the realization of his own free floating ballads and drifting, spacious-yet-focused pieces.
If there is an actual sonic intersection between the natural world and music, then Navidad de los Andes, the collaborative recording between master bandoneonist and composer Dino Saluzzi, his younger brother, saxophonist Felix Saluzzi, and German cellist Anja Lechner has perhaps found it. The brothers have been playing music together for over 60 years; Lechner has been working with the elder Saluzzi since Kultrum in the mid-'90s. Felix and Lechner were both featured soloists on Saluzzi's 2009 orchestral recording El Encuentro.
Songs for Quintet, Kenny Wheeler’s final recording, features compositions of relatively recent vintage, plus a fresh approach to “Old Time” – which the Azimuth trio used to play – and “Nonetheless”, a piece introduced on Angel Song. The album was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios with four of Kenny’s favourite players. Stan Sulzmann, John Parricelli, Chris Laurence and Martin France work together marvellously as an interactive unit, solo persuasively, and provide support for the tender and lyrical flugelhorn of the bandleader.
Imaginary Cities is the recording premiere of saxophonist Chris Potter’s new Underground Orchestra. At the core of this larger ensemble is the personnel of his long-established Underground quartet – with Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith – now joined by two bassists, a string quartet, and Potter’s old comrade from Dave Holland Quintet days, vibes and marimba man Steve Nelson. The title composition is a suite, panoramic in its reach, with movements subtitled “Compassion”, “Dualities”, “Disintegration” and “Rebuilding”.
Argentinean Dino Saluzzi manages to be a great bandeonist and sound different from great Astor Piazzolla. His music is much closer to new age than to "nuevo tango" invented by Piazzolla and Co, his approach is more "down-to-earth" and "minimalistic" yet still bears an influence on Argentinean music . That's what makes him interesting for me and I love this album in particular because of "chamber sound" if you know what I mean. Like you seat in a big dark room next to a fireplace and the guys are playing for you.
This was originally planned as a solo session, but ECM head honcho Manfred Eicher made a call to drummer Jon Christensen, inviting him to sit in on a few tracks, & in the end the musicians & producer liked the results so much that most of the album is duets. Bandoneon/drums duets are unusual to say the least, & the resutls are fascinating, not least because you can hear the musicians thinking about how to respond to the situation. Saluzzi mostly favours dark, brooding, quiet textures, sometimes like a nostalgic memories of tangos & folksongs, sometimes quite dissonant, like some atonal church organ piece.
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.
Exceptional balladesque album by the great darktoned trumpeter and his excellent young Polish quartet. There is a timeless feel to 'Soul of Things' that relates to Stanko's roots as a player. The forward-looking musician is also looking back here, and re-connecting with early influences. He triggers memories of his first heroes - memories of Miles, memories of Chet Baker - in his lonesome, soulful soliloquies.