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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Virelles: Mboko

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For a relatively young musician nearing his 31st birthday in 2014, pianist David Virelles has managed to both garner a strong reputation and emerge with a singular voice in a relatively short period of time. While his early experiences in North America were within the confines of what might be expected from a Cuban expat, playing with Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett, whose career has been predicated on a decades-long fascination with the music of Virelles' native country, in recent years he's emerged as a much broader artist. The first recording to give notice was, perhaps, saxophonist/composer David Binney's wonderful 2011 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

King Crimson at The Warfield

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King Crimson The Elements TourThe Warfield San Francisco, CA October 3-4, 2014 It's been eleven years since King Crimson last toured extensively, barring a brief four-city, fourteen-date tour in 2008 that acted as the final nail in the coffin of its 28-year run with pyrotechnic guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew. Never a fan of the gruelling toll of the road, guitarist/keyboardist Robert Fripp--the group's only remaining founding member--seemed resolute in retiring from active touring after that 2008 jaunt, though he has continued to be active on other fronts, specifically his ongoing soundscapes series, last documented on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anja Lechner / François Couturier: Moderato cantabile

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ECM Records has long divided its discography in two: the regular series, representing music of a more improvisational bent; and its New Series, featuring largely classical music ranging from the contemporary to the archaic, but more truly defined in its through-composed nature. Still, the line between the two has, however, often been a porous one, where artists perhaps most associated with one side of the fence are able to make the occasional excursion to the other side. Perhaps the artist most representative of this ability to work in both structured and extemporaneous contexts is cellist Anja Lechner. Even her earliest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies

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After reinventing himself with a completely revamped ensemble on Sources (ECM, 2012), reed multi-instrumentalist Louis Sclavis expands the purviews and possibilities of his Atlas Trio by adding percussionist Keyvan Chemirani to the mix for Silk and Salt Melodies. Sclavis has, in his 33-year career as a leader--and since coming to ECM Records in 1991 with the recording of Rouge (1992)--made a life's work of regular reinvention, both contextually in terms of lineup and stylistically through a broad cross-section of projects ranging from the fully unplugged, improv-heavy but still composition-based Acoustic Quartet (1994) and image-inspired blend of form and freedom on ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/ Joakim Milder: Spark of Life

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What do you do when you've released three albums as a trio (more, if you include albums released in Poland, prior to coming to the label) for a producer who traditionally seems to like shaking things up after that magic number? For Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and his longstanding trio--first coming together in their teens, they've been together more than two decades, and first recorded for ECM with trumpeter Tomasz Stanko for a triptych of evolutionary albums that began with 2002's Soul of Things and concluded with the far maturer Lontano (2006)--there have been two moves in 2014: first, show ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mark Turner: Lathe of Heaven

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Given that he's participated on no fewer than six recordings on ECM over the past six years-- two this year alone, with drummer Billy Hart's sophomore effort for the label, One is the Other (2014), and pianist Stefano Bollani's career-defining Joy In Spite Of Everything (2014)--it's no surprise to find Mark Turner finally getting his own date on the venerable German label. That Lathe of Heaven is the saxophonist's first recording under his own name alone since 2001's Dharma Days (Warner Bros., 2001) only speaks to an approach to recording that is as painstakingly well thought-out as Turner's approach to ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Erik Honore: Heliographs

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If patience is a virtue, then Erik Honoré is, indeed, one virtuous man. Over the past few decades he's built a busy career as a novelist and record producer in his home country of Norway, and has come to increasing international attention as co-Artistic Director of the Punkt Live Remix festival--that globe-trotting festival with a philosophy that is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in its hometown of Kristiansand in September, 2014. He's also become a more active participant on recordings over the past few years, performing on recordings by trumpter Arve Henriksen like Cartography (ECM, 2008) and Places of ...



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