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ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017

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ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017 Tishman Auditorium, The New School New York City January 7, 2017 Music has been a comfort in troubling times ever since there were humans to bring about troubles to begin with. Rare, however, is that music which seeks not only to placate but also demonstrate. The world of ECM Records, insofar as it has come to be defined through nearly five decades of mapping, demonstrates in every sense ...

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Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile at the Rubin Museum of Art

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Nik Bärtsch's Mobile Rubin Museum of Art New York, NY May 6, 2016 When is music a ritual? A relevant question in regard to pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch, one of few modern musicians to live out his worldview in every thought and action. His “Ronin" project laid fresh tracks in the vast network of ECM Records--no small feat considering the label's diverse, decades-long locomotion. But behind Ronin's curtain, in his native Zürich, ...

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Nik Bartsch's Mobile at The Rubin Museum of Art

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Nik Bärtsch's Mobile Rubin Museum Of Art New York, NY May 6, 2016 Having seen Nik Bärtsch's Ronin live (albeit eight years ago), listened to Continuum and read the detailed review which notes the differences between the groups, did not lessen the impact of Mobile in concert. The venue was perfect--a small auditorium which held about three hundred, facing a raised stage. There, the Mobile quartet was arranged with Nik ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nik Bartsch's Mobile: Continuum

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Few musicians have continued to hone a concept as singularly unique and instantly recognizable, irrespective of context, as that being explored by Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch since he first formed Mobile with Don Li, Kaspar Rast and Mats Eser in 1997. First emerging on record in 2001 with Ritual Groove Music (Self-Released, reissued Ronin Rhythm, 2006), Bärtsch has evolved three very different contexts with which to explore the confluence of trance-inducing minimalist elements with rigorous, ritualistic compositional constructs, a deep ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nik Bärtsch's Mobile: Continuum

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The timing couldn't have been better. Following up on the stunning double-CD live outing, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin Live (ECM, 2012), Bärtsch returns with his acoustic group, Mobile, for Continuum. With clarinetist Sha and drummer Kaspar Rast crossing over from Ronin, a new addition, Nicolas Stocker, on drums and percussion completes the core quartet. A string quintet augments three of the eight tracks, infusing a multiplicity of effects in the process. Mobile has been around for almost twenty years ...

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London Jazz Festival 2015

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London Jazz Festival London, UK November 13-22, 2015 Like many city-fests, the London Jazz Festival criss-crosses the town, spanning the River Thames that splits it in two. Two Southbank Centre venues--the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room--are being refurbished this year, making Kings' Place an even more significant festival stage and bringing the Cadogan Hall near “posh" Sloan Square into major service. The festival's programming is, as ever, eclectic and highly creative ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Live

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Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch and his group Ronin joined the ECM Records roster in 2006 with their label debut, Stoa. Since then they have produced a new ECM set every two years, with Holon (2008), Llyría (2010), and now their first recorded-in-concert set for the label, the double-disc Live.Ronin's music has been called Zen Funk, ritual groove music, and mechanistic minimalism. Live proves the group is just as tight onstage as it is in the studio. This is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Live

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Change can be good, though there's often a sense of loss when a significant adjustment happens. Honing his very specific Ritual Groove/Zen Funk music for more than a decade, Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch was hit with a particularly big change when Ronin's founding bassist, Bjørn Meyer, left in 2011 to pursue personal projects. The more recent departure of equally longstanding percussionist Andi Pupato on September 1, 2012, leaves Ronin--with new bassist, Thomy Jordi, in tow--to forge ahead as a quartet, ...

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Nik Bartsch's Ronin: London, England, November 16, 2011

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Nik Bärtsch's RoninLondon Jazz FestivalKing's PlaceLondon, EnglandNovember 16, 2011 Looking at the listings for day six of the London Jazz Festival, the term “spoilt for choice" sprang to mind. At the Barbican, pianists Stefano Bollani and French veteran Martial Solal led a double bill supported by Marcin Wasilewski's piano trio; at the Purcell Room, rising stars Phronesis promised a night to remember in a concert without lights, entitled Pitch Black, while at ...


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