Horizons Touched: The Music Of ECM

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Horizons Touched: The Music Of ECM
Edited by Steve Lake and Paul Griffiths
Hardcover; 448 pages
ISBN: 1862078807

After almost 40 years, over 1,000 albums and music by a roster that has included musicians of note from many other countries, it is about time that German label ECM Records, which began auspiciously in 1969 with a Mal Waldron Trio LP, has its story told. But like the label's vast catalogue of sessions, Horizons Touched is not a simple straightforward read.

The absolutely gorgeously-designed volume (which should come as a surprise to nobody) was edited by Paul Griffiths, noted music writer, and Steve Lake, liner note scribe for the label. Included are the requisite interviews with label founder Manfred Eicher as well as a partial discography and many reproductions of ECM album covers.

But what makes this tome really fascinating is its structure; rather than present a chronological account, essays by writers and musicians expound upon various topics—ECM and European Jazz; Northbound: ECM and 'The Idea of North;' The ECM Cover, to name a few chapters—which, taken as a whole provide some slantways insight into the label. The book is part history to be sure but also hindsight mission statement and ongoing stump speech.

Adding detail to these chapters are shorter essays by directly relevant musicians who have made the label the creative force it is today—players as obvious as pianist Keith Jarrett and saxophonist Jan Garbarek but also others drawn from the side of ECM that readers may know less about: the world of "new music," in which it has forged a significant reputation.

To call this a coffee table book would be to diminish it. Like the ECM records it discusses, style most certainly is buoyed by substance.


More Articles

Read "Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert" Book Reviews Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day" Book Reviews Bob Dylan: A Year and a Day
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge" Book Reviews Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Matthew Crampton: Human Cargo" Book Reviews Matthew Crampton: Human Cargo
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!