Manfred Eicher And ECM's amazing recordings

68TH ANNUAL DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL

68th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll
We are pleased to announce that Manfred Eicher is voted ‘Producer of the Year’ and ECM ‘Record Label of the Year’ in the leading US jazz magazine’s poll. This sums up to a dozen time in recent history that ECM and its producer have topped the poll. Furthermore, Steve Swallow is again ‘Electric Bassist of the Year’, and many more ECM artists and releases can be found amongst the top ranked finalists.

Thank you, DownBeat Magazine!
Full results of the 67th International Critics Poll are published in the August issue of DownBeat. https://downbeat.com/news/detail/carrington-tops-2020-downbeat-critics-poll

DownBeat magazine published an extensive, insightful feature on Manfred Eicher and ECM last year. If you missed it, you can find it online here: https://downbeat.com/news/detail/ecm-manfred-eicher-search-for-sublime

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Hi Adrian. Thanks for the link to the Downbeat feature last year, which I’d not read before. It just so happens I’m listening to the most recent album by Carla Bley, Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard, which somehow captured a really nice moment. Let’s hope the label continues to thrive. N

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I hope so too and think it will. Manfred is about to return to the studio this next week to mix some albums and then to restart recording sessions. It’s been a quiet ECM year so far, less than half of what we would normally see but that was intentional after all the work they did last year on releases and 50th anniversary. However, the standard of releases has been very high. And I am sure the second half will be excellent.

I think that really is a good article that is quite insightful.

Very interesting 20 minute interview with Manfred about 50 years…

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Yes, this long article is excellent and gives a real taste of what makes Manfred and the label as a whole tick.

This interview was recorded last year. It mentions the upcoming festival in Flagey Brussels. At the festival the same guy did an hour plus interview with Manfred and a number of ECM artists. It was the most emotional event I have ever been to and just wonderful. Picture I took (Avishai Cohen, Anja Lechner, Manfred, Patrick Bivort, Louis Sclavis, Nik Bartsch)…

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The Deep by Masson, from the LP Travelers.

A brilliant track.

Powerful subaquatic energy…a kind of seascape of sound.

Brings to mind the creepy creatures of the bathysphere.

Very excited about this upcoming new album from ECM legend Terje Rypdal. I think this is going to be a cracker. With Stale Storlakken on the keyboards too - he’s wonderful with other bands Elephant 9, Supersilent etc…

This is out Sep 11. There are three other new ECM albums out in September but not yet officially announced…

A new ECM studio album and a programme of new music from Terje Rypdal is cause for celebration. On Conspiracy the great Norwegian guitarist seems to reconnect with the wild inspiration that fuelled such early masterpieces as Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away, Odyssey and Waves, exploring the sonic potential of the electric guitar with both a rock improviser’s love of raw energy and a composer’s feeling for space and texture. Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, who contributed to Terje’s Vossabrygg and Crime Scene albums is an ideal co-conspirator, perpetually thickening the plot with his own intuitive feeling for complementary sound-colours. Conspiracy also marks a welcome return for Pål Thowsen, whose subtle, detailed drumming was last heard on ECM with Arild Andersen’s 1970s groups. Rypdal’s best band in years is completed by gifted young bass guitarist Endre Hareide Hallre. Conspiracy was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio and produced by Manfred Eicher and Terje Rypdal.

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Thanks, I look forward to the release and being able to give the album a spin!

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There is one track on spotify now

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This looks great.

I will try to get Spotify working on my 272 tonight and give this a listen.

I recently bought a month’s access to Soundiiz to transfer all my favourites and playlists from Tidal to Qobuz. While I had access to that very useful service, I also sent them to Spotify, partly as another backup, and in case I might want to use Spotify for exploration purposes - and especially to find copies of otherwise unstreamable music by Gloria Coates, Paul Bley, John Zorn, et al.

But I’ve never actually used Spotify, so this will be a first (if I manage it).

I do enjoy Terje’s work.

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A couple more new upcoming ECM’s for September. Debut as leader on ECM for Dominik Wania (been sideman on a couple of Maciej Obara albums) with a solo piano album and a second group outing for Michel Benita…

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Just listening to Keith Jarrett’s ‘Facing You’.

Some joyous blues riffs on there.

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New LP out:

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Musically free flowing, jungly, spacious, spontaneous but carefully managed riff based pieces, with a steamy atmosphere, alive…Resonant; fetid soundscapes from way up river…

One of ECM’s finest LPs, featuring Maupin, Herbie Hancock et al.

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This has always been my favourite. Just about the coolest thing out there, when it was originally issued in the mid 70s. Strangely elusive since then.

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Haha. I bought this on it’s release date as it was eagerly anticipated. But to be honest, to me, it sounds like 3 blokes in black turtlenecks with horn rimmed glasses hitting random notes. It was like someone taking the piss of Jazz.

“Welcome to Jazz Club. Nice!”

This did get a “low key” reissue recently as 24 bit hi-res download…

Yeah - Noticed that quite recently. Always odd that they never reissued it on CD though, whereas the equally good ‘Love, Love’ was

Yes, agreed - they are so small as a company and Manfred always looks forward that quite a few fell by the wayside and never got a CD release. So a couple of years ago they did a catch up and did digital releases for 40 albums as downloads - I guess the economics of pressing CD at this late stage for some of these albums was not viable. But good to see them in the digital domain now at last and sounding fantastic too…

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