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50 Years of ECM – Chapter 4

Blog
50 Years of ECM – Chapter 4

29.08.2019

Text: Ekin Sanaç
Collage: Sadi Güran

Releasing over 1.500 albums since its foundation in 1969, ECM’s ground breaking musical journey continues with the 2000’s.

After 1990’s, which was marked as a peak decade of ECM’S broadening vision, 2000’s came as a period of further expansion with glorious debut albums. ECM kept celebrating the rich universe of electronic sounds with carefully selected albums, following the initial examples from Nils Peter Molvær during the 1990’s, and the next decade saw the label even furthering this expansion with surprising releases. 2000’s also saw exciting piano trio productions as well as the rise of Latin jazz. The ten-album selection below from ECM in 2000’s will take you on an inspiring journey.

Charles Lloyd - The Water is Wide
(2000)

In Water is Wide, master saxophone player Charles Lloyd, drummer Bill Higgins and guitarist John Abercrombie meets pianist Brad Mehldau and bassist Larry Grenadier, creating a cross generational bridge for a colorful classic.

Dave Holland Quintet – Extended Play: Live at Birdland
(2003)

Recorded in New York’s legendary jazz club in 2001, this is the first live album from Dave Holland, who has been releasing his music with ECM for over 30 years. Trombone player Robin Eubanks, saxophone player Chris Potter, drummer Billy Kilson and marimba virtuoso Steve Nelson accompanies Holland for a perfect performance that expands their studio recordings into new horizons.

Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Ground
(2005)

The trio released their debut album on ECM in 2003 and their second album, The Ground, took their extraordinary music to the next level, gaining a deserved popularity right after its release. With its wide network of inspirations from early period traditions, blues and gospel to Caribbean and New Orleans sounds, The Ground is accepted as one of the most solid expressions of Gustaven’s unique style.

Manu Katché - Neighborhood
(2006)

Neighborhood is the first ECM album from French drummer with Ivory Coast origins, Manu Katché, as a leader. Katché’s longtime collaborator, saxophone master Jan Garbarek and famous trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, who we lost last year, were the two names that accompanied the drummer in this album.

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin – Stoa
(2006)

One of the most striking examples of ECM’s mind-expanding explorations in 2000’s is, without a doubt, 1971 born Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch and his band Ronin. Ronin’s debut from ECM, Stoa, is full of exciting moments from start to finish, and Bärtsch defines the fresh genre of the album as “Zen-Funk” and “Ritual Groove”.

Paul Bley - Solo in Mondsee
(2007)

Famous Canadian pianist Paul Bley’s 1973 solo piano album, Open to Love, is referred as one of the most precious releases from ECM. Solo in Mondsee, which comes in over 30 years later, is the second solo piano release from the musician, and it opens the doors to a magical improvisation universe. Recorded in 2001 by Bley, the album was released in 2007, which marks the 75th birthday of Bley.

Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner - Ojos Negros
(2007)

Argentinian bandoneon master has released numerous albums from ECM since 1983, but this recording with German cellist Anja Lechner is seen as one of his most special works. The harmony between the two instruments invites the listener to a sea of warm and sheltering sounds.

Julia Hülsmann Trio – The End of a Summer
(2008)

The End of a Summer is the debut ECM album from Julia Hülsmann Trio, the leading piano trio among several that were introduced into ECM catalogue during the 2000’s. The songwriter and pianist, who drew attention with her impressively agile style, is accompanied by Marc Muellbauer at the bass and Heinrich Köbberling at the drums.

Anouar Brahem - The Astounding Eyes of Rita
(2009)

The Astounding Eyes of Rita is the celebrated herald of Tunisian oud artist’s return to the groovy chemistry of the 1998 ECM album Thimar. The album, which is seen as Brahem’s masterpiece, was recorded with bass clarinet player Klaus Gesing, bassist Björn Meyer from Ronin and percussionist Khaled Yassine. 

Food – Quiet Inlet
(2010)

Founded by Biritish saxophone player Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen in 1998, Food’s first ECM album, featuring master trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær and Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz, invites the listener to explore their highly melodic and unique nu-jazz approaches.

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