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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John di Martino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Billy Strayhorn was barely twenty-three years old when he first met bandleader Duke Ellington, an encounter that would lead to a collaboration that lasted more than half of Strayhorn's life. During that time, Strayhorn wrote some of the Ellington orchestra's most acclaimed and enduring songs including “Lotus Blossom," “Chelsea Bridge," “Isfahan" and, most ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Francois Couturier / Tarkovsky Quartet: Nuit Blanche

Read "Nuit Blanche" reviewed by John Kelman

Following their sublime duo outing, Moderato Cantabile (ECM, 2014), cellist Anja Lechner and François Couturier reunite in the pianist's quartet responsible for two-thirds of a recorded trilogy for ECM Records, all devoted to Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, whose name would ultimately become synonymous with the group: Tarkovsky Quartet. Bookending Couturier's second album of the ...

A Passion for John Donne

Label: ECM Records
Released: 2015
Track listing: Introitus – A Passion for John Donne; Thou Hast Made Me; A Fever; Death, Be Not Proud; Interlude No. 1; The Legacy; Batter My Heart, Three Personed God; A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy'S Day; Farewell to Love; Interlude No.2; Since She Whom I Loved Hath Paid Her Last Debt; A Valediction, Forbidden Mourning; Oh, to Vex Me, Contraries Meet in One; Interlude No.3; There We Leave You.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ketil Bjornstad: A Passion for John Donne

Read "A Passion for John Donne" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Il poeta inglese del Cinquecento John Donne è una costante fonte di ispirazione per Ketil Bjørnstad, che già aveva fatto riferimento a lui in altri lavori. Stavolta, però, gli dedica l'intero progetto del CD, con una scelta stilistica di frontiera che permette al pianista norvegese di affiancare le proprie musiche alle liriche di Donne e di ...

Manu Katche: Touchstone for Manu

Read "Manu Katche: Touchstone for Manu" reviewed by John Kelman

With only four records released as a leader on ECM, it may seem a little early to release a “best of" disc for drummer Manu Katché. But having since moved on to fellow German label ACT for Live in Concert, while Touchstone for Manu is only being released in North America in the summer of 2015, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Steve Tibbetts: “Northern Song” and the Sounds of Silence

Read "Steve Tibbetts: “Northern Song” and the Sounds of Silence" reviewed by Rob Caldwell

It's a chilly, overcast afternoon in jny: Oslo, Norway in late October 1981. This close to the Arctic Circle, the days are already rapidly shortening with winter's approach, the sun beginning to disappear over the horizon by mid-afternoon. In a darkened studio, guitarist Steve Tibbetts, percussionist Marc Anderson, producer and ECM Records head Manfred Eicher, along ...

Sinikka Langeland: The half-finished heaven

Read "Sinikka Langeland: The half-finished heaven" reviewed by John Kelman

She may have debuted on ECM (and, consequently, far beyond the borders of her native Norway) with 2007's Starflowers, but Sinikka Langeland has, in fact, been around for more than two decades, with her first album, Langt Innpå Skoga, released on Norway's Grappa label in 1994. Composer, singer and master of the kantele--an antiquated Scandinavian dulcimer/zither ...

ARTICLE: REDISCOVERY

Masqualero: Masqualero

Read "Masqualero: Masqualero" reviewed by John Kelman

MasqualeroMasqualeroOdin1983 Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, there are still those who think that Norwegian musicians can't play “real jazz" (whatever that is), and that what they do play is something consistently (and erroneously) categorized as “Nordic Cool." Submitted for your approval is today's Rediscovery: the self-titled debut from Masqualero, ...

Ketil Bjornstad: Sunrise (A cantata on texts by Edvard Munch)

Label: ECM Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: En rovfugl har satt seg fast I mitt indre; Moren; Intet er lite; Jorden elskede luften; Resitativ I; Stupet; Som I en kirke; Intermezzo I; Livets dans; Åpent vindu; Resitativ II; Adskillesen; Intermezzo II; Gravsten; Resitativ III; Alfa o Omega; De fineste nerver er rammet; Intermezzo III; Soloppgang.


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