Which ECM titles?

Hi, I have a growing collection of ECM albums, CD, downloads and vinyl. Qobuz have a good sale on at the moment that ends on the 31st. I have already bought some of the early releases. Not sure if I should spend any more. However, what would you go for and why?


Just buy the whole lot.


If you have Qobuz Sublime + those ECM LPs seem to mainly cost about £6 until the end of Dec…

so if you wanted to buy a lot of them it would be worth taking out a subscription for a month…

You need to pay £300 for a year’s membership in order to get the download discount.

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https://www.stereophile.com/content/manfred-eicher-you-cant-record-everybody-fred-kaplans-10-favorite-ecm-jazz-albums Not a bad place to start. I’d add Keith Jarrett “Staircase” sublime moments.


Ah yes I just spotted that.

I’m seriously considering buying a server, and have a want list of a couple of hundred ECM LPs so this is of interest, but it ends too soon.

But I keep wondering whether I’m getting a server just as web streaming esp from Qobuz is about catch up with local streaming…?

Recommendation for ECM releases are easy to make but they also cover a wide array of music. So I will go with a few artists that I listen to and own the ECM recordings.

Anouar Brahem - ‘The Astounding Eyes of Rita’ – A wonderful mix of middle eastern instruments along with a bass and the music is sublime. Also ‘Blue Marqams’ which is a wonderful quartet with a more traditional Jazz flavor. You cannot go wrong with any of his albums…

Areni Agbabian - ‘Bloom’ - a 2019 release and her debut album. Love her voice and a wonderful pianist with a drummer providing some subtle percussion on the album.

Carla Bley - ‘Andando el Tiempo’ and ‘Trios’ Both albums feature a trio, Piano, Bass and Saxophone to bring to life Carla’s compositions.

Charles Lloyd - ‘All My Relations’ and ‘Water is Wide’ Charles was born in 1938 and is still releasing albums. A first class saxophonist, composer and band leader and is still releasing albums in his 80’s. A lot to choose from in his ECM catalogue and I would also recomend his two recent non ECM album releases under ‘Charles Lloyd & The Marvels.’

Jan Garbarek, Egberto Gismonti, & Chalie Haden - ‘Carta de Amor’ – A wonderful album featuring three mainstays in the ECM family. Recorded in 1981 and released in 2012.

Jon Balke - Further – Album features Jon and the Magnetic North Orchestra which features 11 musicians playing piano, horns, and strings and the music is marvelous. Also ‘Siwan’ an album featuring 18 musicians, featuring music from “an inspired meeting between musicians of the north and the south, a creative coming together of cultures.” The music is wonderful and to listen to the voice of ‘Amina Alaoui’ is worth the price of the album alone.

Jan Garbarek - Jan makes an appearance on 75 of ECM album releases. I would recommend looking at ‘Officium’ which features The Hilliard Ensemble singing with Jan playing his saxophone solo, and the sound is incredible, simply beautiful. Also ‘Paths, Prints’ which is a release from 1982 and features a wonderful quartet.

…I could go on, there is so much to enjoy. Good luck with your choices!


You probably know that : if you stream Qobuz from a melco or Innuos server, you will have to use non naim app and connect the 272 to the server in usb/ spdif . Or just buy Qobuz albums and stream them stored on the server, in Upnp mode, using naim app.

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Any/all of the Anouar Brahem titles, the Bill Frisell live albums with Thomas Morgan (Small Town and Epistrophy), Tomasz Stanko Quartet Lontano. To name a few offhand.

There are many great albums on ECM. I’ve been a fan for decades and have about 150 vinyl LPs, plus a lot of digital titles in my Qobuz library.


All the early Pat Metheny releases (esp. Offramp!)


Carla Bley “Escalator over the Hill” is one of the best albums I have ever heard and I would say absolutely essential if you are collecting ECM and just as essential if you were not.


Wonderful trumpet player ! - Lot of others to choose from too !



these are the ones that came to my mind first. There are many more worthy, but here you go:
Keith Jarrett - Bye bye Blackbird
Keith Jarrett - The Melody at Night, with you
Aaron Parks - Arborescence
Quercus - Quercus
Arianna Savall - Hirundo Maris
Paolo Fresu/Daniele Di Bonaventura - In Maggiore
Colin Vallon - Le Vent
Giovanni Guidi - City of Broken Dreams


Good piece by music critic Richard Williams here:


When did the blues leave by Paul bley et al

Thanks Richard - this is a great little summary and a v interesting list.

Plus @frenchrooster the piece mentions a book called The Blue Moment: Miles Davis and the remaking of Modern Music.

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John Abercrombie’s Class Trip,'Cat ‘n’ Mouse and Open Land as well as 53 other ECM albums he either leads or is a member of the band.

It is extraordinarily difficult to choose my favourite ECM recordings. The range of music is very wide. I would suggest you explore first! Here are some of my favourites which if course will be personal and you may not like with quite the same passion as I!
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and there are so many more.


The LP Bells for the South Side by Mitchell on that list is enjoyable.