Author Topic: Favorite ECM releases  (Read 10189 times)

Somnia

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Favorite ECM releases
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:09:58 AM »
Inspired by the Bill Evans thread, was wondering what people's favorite ECM releases were?

Some of my tops that come to mind are:

Tomasz Stanko - Suspended Variations
Eberhard Weber - Fluid Rustle
Trygve Seim - Sangam
Bugge Wesseltoft & Sidsel Edresen - all albums
Stephen Micus - Music Of Stones

Such a huge catalog, I would love some more recommendations to dive in deeper.
Evan Bartholomew
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Native State Records / Somnia

Mark Mushet

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 01:07:17 PM »
Music of Stones - perfect cover art, though not his best music IMO.

Pretty much everything by Ralph Towner, Dino Saluzzi, Anouar Brahem & Dave Holland.

Just off the top...and likely to appeal to Hypnos fans overall:

Bobo Stenson - Serenity and Goodbye
Steve Tibbetts - Bye Bye Safe Journey
Paul Bley - Not two, Not One
Marilyn Crispell - Amayrillis
Eberhard Weber - Pendulum
David Darling - Cello and Darkwood

g.@.b.

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 05:44:54 PM »
Pat Metheny Group - Offramp
Jan Garbarek Group - Twelve Moons *
Steve Kuhn - Remembering Tomorrow
Dave Holland Quintet - Prime Directive
Tomasz Stanko Quartet - Suspended Night *
John Hassell - Power Spot
Tord Gustavsen Trio - Being There
David Torn - Prezenz *
Steve Tibbetts - The Fall of Us All
Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Arild Andersen, John Marshall - Achirana *

* = 5 Stars
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 06:02:16 PM by g.@.b. »

mgriffin

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 07:24:05 PM »

David Darling - Dark Wood
David Darling - Cello
David Torn - Cloud About Mercury
Keith Jarrett - The Köln Concert
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
Ketil Bjornstad - Water Stories
Ketil Bjornstad & David Darling - The River


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darren bergstein

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 09:37:01 PM »
ah, ecm, that venerable warhorse...

some quick comments to this thread first. if there ever was a label that set a standard for excellence, both musically and artistically, it was manfred eicher's baby. ecm's crossed so many genres, trends, styles and boundaries one is hard-pressed to even come up with anything like a definitive list (oh, and appropo the current vinyl thread, ecm minted its sides on some of the best quality wax around, with what i believe was a beyond industry standard of 120g). all the above noted, i do admit to a certain disappointment with the label over the last few years. their cover art has become ever more minimal, less texturally interesting, and predominantly black & white (what gives?). musically, it's more or less intact, but, again, i'd argue that standards have slipped, and new classics hard to come by. still, the label has few peers.

now, if only they would reissue on cd a *ton* of superb recordings from their distant past (immediately to mind: first terje rypdal, wolfgang dauner 'output', steve kuhn 'trance', bill connors 'of mist and melting', etc. etc.). quasi-recent welcome cd reissues: bennie maupin's 'jewel and the lotus', and barre phillips 'mountainscapes' (both of which are expensive imports only but worth the bux).

so, the list:

- david torn 'cloud about mercury' (*this* is fusion)
- jon hassell 'power spot' (actually, one of my favorite recordings *ever* and still one of the most unique, innovative, original records made - it still sounds like nothing else on earth)
- mark isham / art lande 'we begin'
- pat metheny 'offramp'
- pat metheny / lyle mays 'as falls wichita so falls wichita falls' (for those not in the know - and particularly noteworthy to other forum folk - the title track is mostly electronics, almost td-ish during its long, very strange middle section, and the most successful experimental work metheny's ever done)
- john surman 'withholding pattern' (synths & saxes)
- john surman 'private city'
- steve tibbetts 'northern song'
- steve tibbetts 'the fall of us all' (tibbetts entire ecm catalog is pretty necessary)
- john abercrombie 'getting there'
- john abercrombie 'timeless' (ditto the above)
- gateway 'gateway'
- terje rypdal 'the singles collection'
- terje rydal / david darling 'eos'
- rypdal / vitous / dejohnette 'rypdal / vitous / dejohnette'
- stephen micus 'twilight fields'
- rainer bruninghaus 'continuum'
- art ensemble of chicago 'urban bushmen'
- nils petter molvaer 'khmer'


darren bergstein

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 09:51:26 PM »
oops...some corrections to my previous missive. didn't realize i already had kuhn's 'trance' (so, yes, it's available). and also forgot to mention that one of the last significant reissues was julian priester's 'love love', an immediate purchase which i had been dying to get on cd for years.

you know they always feed me lamb and it's never well-cooked... ;)

Infraction

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 09:29:15 AM »
Another great thread. 

The David Darling duo of Cello and Darkwood are absolutely essential for ambient listeners.  Outside of that,
I've noticed some other notable picks; Molvaer's khmer, Bjornstad's Water Storiesand The River and that superb
Tsabropoulus, Andersen, Marshall disc.  Other notables for me :

Jan Garbarek - Dis
Jan Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble - Officium
Arvo Part - Kanon Pokajanen
Eleni Karaindrou - Eternity and a Day

and not ECM, but might as well have been :

Pat Metheny & Charlie Haden - Beyond the Missouri Sky

Darren sums it up best, ECM set the standard for excellence in terms of music and design.  I may not like everything on the label, but
I never get rid of an ECM title.  Most likely, it has to do with my own musical appreciation and not achieving that level as of yet.

Rune Grammofon is a label that has emerged as a contemporary ECM - and I believe there is some affiliation there, perhaps it's just distro. I'm not sure.

Jason
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Infraction

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2008, 09:35:32 AM »
I forgot to mention the German label Winter & Winter too.  I used to pick these discs up whenever I, A) had the funds and B) found them FS.  My collection is not deep though - maybe 6 or 8 titles.  I haven't picked up anything lately...and I'm not even sure they're still around.  Like ECM, they had a great and consistent packaging design.  My favorite has to be Dave Douglas' Charms of the Night Sky for both the music and it's stunning packaging.

Anyone else familiar with W&W that would give recommendations?

Jason
infractionrecords.com

Somnia

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2008, 09:46:50 AM »
Ah yes, I could start another thread just to sing the praises of Rune Grammafon.  So many good ones there, design is excellent, and consistently stretches my boundaries. 
Evan Bartholomew
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Native State Records / Somnia

darren bergstein

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2008, 09:50:09 AM »
I forgot to mention the German label Winter & Winter too...Anyone else familiar with W&W that would give recommendations?

winter & winter, yes, another stalwart example of both music/package design working in synergy. i don't have a particularly deep catalog either (ten or so), but i would strongly recommend:

- jim black/alasnoaxis (all available releases)
- uri caine (ditto above) - much sampling/electronic weirdness, all within avant-jazz contexts
- marc ducret 'details' (avant guitarist who has played w/douglas, tim berne)
- pachora (phenomenal nyc downtown ensemble w/clarinettist chris speed)

like ecm, w&w skit all over the map (post-classical, avant-ism, electroacoustic improv, progressive big-band, modern composition), and obviously personal taste tailor-makes individual issue/artist choices. but the level of standard (recording, performance, art) is extraordinarily high.

re: rune grammofon. agree with you as well. yes, ecm does distribute them in europe, and, again, there are many similarities in approach/concept, although kim hiorthoy's digipak designs mine a consistent aesthetic release to release; some particularly striking euro-abstractionism adorns all r.g. covers, and hiorthoy's choice/placement of colors & shapes is pretty unique. musically, like ecm, rune shucks genre in favor of whatever suits his taste, but his taste is certainly cosmopolitan and well-refined.

oops, kinda got off thread...back to the ecm worship... :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 09:52:00 AM by darren bergstein »

mgriffin

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2008, 10:12:22 AM »
Ah, thanks for the reminder about Rune Grammofon, a label I've been meaning to investigate.  But maybe we should start another topic for that one. 

Welcome back to the Forum, Darren.
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Somnia

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2008, 10:23:23 AM »
In the Rune Grammafon universe, I would recommend checking out Arve Henriksen first.  He's probably the most accessible with his solo releases, and is becoming a sound all his own.  I _instantly_ recognize his playing, whether its with Nine Horses, Supersilent, or any of the myriad sessions he's done in the last few years.

In this same kind of vein, the Dhafer Youseff / Wolfgang Muthspiel album will definitely appeal to fans of Nordic jazz/post-jazz/whatever
Evan Bartholomew
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Native State Records / Somnia

Mark Mushet

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2008, 11:07:00 AM »
I forgot to mention the German label Winter & Winter too.  I used to pick these discs up whenever I, A) had the funds and B) found them FS.  My collection is not deep though - maybe 6 or 8 titles.  I haven't picked up anything lately...and I'm not even sure they're still around.  Like ECM, they had a great and consistent packaging design.  My favorite has to be Dave Douglas' Charms of the Night Sky for both the music and it's stunning packaging.

Anyone else familiar with W&W that would give recommendations?

Ernst Reijseger & Tenore Cuncordu de Orosei: Colla Voche
- cello, pecussion and Italian men's choir. Lovely stuff.

and Fred Frith's soundtrack to "Rivers and Tides"

jblock

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2008, 12:24:36 PM »
My favorite ECM releases:

Dave Holland - Conference Of The Birds
Dave Holland - Emerald Tears
Jimmy Giuffre - 1961
Richie Beirach - Eon
Gary Burton Quartet - Passengers
Carla Bley - Social Studies and Dinner Music
Jack DeJohnette - Album, Album
Chick Corea - Return To Forever and Trio Music, Live In Europe
Pat Metheny - American Garage
Old and New Dreams - S/T
David Torn - Cloud About Mercury
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Antdude

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2008, 02:00:38 PM »
My favorites:

Terje Rypdal - Odyssey
John Abercrombie - Time-less
Eberhard Weber - The Following Morning
There is no spoon. Which sucks because I have a pudding cup.

drone on

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 04:14:31 PM »
My favorite would HAVE to be:

Vladimir Peter Mohavishnu--"Music for Bells, Trombone, and Banjo Echoing in the Void of Eternal Obscurity" 

I betcha nobody's heard THIS one before!  ;-)

Joe R

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2008, 08:22:09 PM »
I'm just recently scratching the surface of jazz, not very familiar yet, but there's 3 ECM albums that I love:

Vassilis Tsabropoulos- Achirana
Marilyn Crispell- Amaryllis
Marilyn Crispell- Storyteller; this one may be more minimal than Amaryllis, and it's every bit as gripping.

ffcal

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2008, 08:46:04 PM »
Some of my oldie ECM favorites off the top of my head--

Eberhard Weber - Little Movements
Steve Tibbetts - Big Map Idea
Gary Burton/Chick Corea - Crystal Silence
Ralph Towner - Solstice
Terje Rypdal - Whenever I Seems To Be Far Away (love the unusual combo of french horn and mellotron)
Codona 2
Pat Metheny Group - First Circle
Steve Kuhn - Trance

Forrest

9dragons

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2008, 09:10:26 PM »
The Hilliard Ensemble, Perotin, a stunning work of early polyphony...interesting to see Hassell's Power Spot mentioned. I heard his music for the first time only recently, and it's definitely one of those times wondering how I could have overlooked it. Sounds like a major inspiration to early Steve Roach. Been searching down any Hassell I can find now, but Power Spot is eluding me. Didn't know it was on ECM, makes me want to buy it all the more. Keep seeing really pricey ($20 or more) on Amazon, but have to check which edition (if not all) is on ECM. Can anyone clarify?

I once had Garbarek's Officium, but sold it. Wish I had it again...think I ended up judging it too harshly at the time I had it, maybe afraid that I was getting into 'New Age'. No such distinctions or hang-ups for me now though...

Somnia

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Re: Favorite ECM releases
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2008, 08:34:59 AM »
Who ever recommended Marcin Wasilewski Trio in a previous thread, THANK YOU!  Beautiful music.  Luckily Amazon.com has ECM catalog for sale digital now, and a lot of it has been remastered (eberhard weber, etc.).
Evan Bartholomew
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Native State Records / Somnia