Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Southampton Sports Centre

A wonderful thing has just happened. To quote from the email I found in my inbox on Friday:
Dear friends of ECM,

Over the past week ECM begun the process of entering streaming, and from today, the full ECM catalogue is available to subscribers to services including Apple Music, Amazon.com, Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL and Qobuz.
That's .... amazing! There are so many ECM albums I've wanted to hear over the years, but couldn't possibly have afforded to take a gamble on, so this is like receiving the ultimate Christmas present. Let's see... There are the early Bill Frisell recordings, all that Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett, those intriguing combinations of world music virtuosos with musicians from the "jazz" tradition, the modern "classical" recordings by the likes of Arvo Pärt , beautiful polyphony from the Hilliard Ensemble... Oh yes, and John Surman and Terje Rypdal, I'd always meant to check them out, and I might even take a cautious look into the world of Carla Bley... The list just goes on.

I know that, for a lot of people, a little ECM goes a long way – "chilly" and "cerebral" are sometimes the words critics reach for, though I prefer "serene" and "uncompromising" – but if I had to nominate one label whose output I would like to be able to sample whenever I felt like it, that label would have to be ECM. So, thanks, Manfred Eicher! Let's hope you (or your artists) don't come to regret this, sales-wise.

So, now may be the time to put some decent Bluetooth speakers on my list for Father Christmas... Any recommendations?

Avonmouth from Clifton Downs, Bristol


Anonymous said...

I don't have a recommendation regarding bluetooth speakers, but regarding Terje Rypdal - that would be the Rypdal/Vitous/DeJohnette trio. By the way, one of my all-time favourites on ECM is "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway" by Marilyn Crispell, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian.

Best, Thomas

Mike C. said...

Thanks for the tip, Thomas, I'll check it out. Though sometimes I despair at the amount of great things out there I will never have time to hear / read / etc., or, more often than not, will never even get to hear about. The temptation (in fact, the only sane option) is to stick to what you know and get to know it really well, with just the occasional foray out into the Unknown Unknowns...