Thursday, May 31, 2018
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
I think this is one of the most overlooked Micus albums. It doesn't have the epic quality of say Ocean or the experimental edge of The Music of Stones, neither the devotional loneliness of Athos, but still it's a noteworthy album. For one, it contains one of the most beautiful short tracks he's ever written, "Adela," another track with mourning violins that's great, "Shen Khar Venakhi," a great love song with an a-cappella delivery, "Contessa Entelina," and a lonely shakuhachi hymn, "For Yukand generally it's a diverse album with both classical music elements and a lot of African percussion moments that are cool and relaxing. 2001 cd on ECM.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
OMG look at how young and virile Stephan Micus looks here bro! Even his voice is less raspy and softer. This is the last album outside of ECM and it's a short but gorgeous album, dominated by table harps and zithers that provide that trademark sacred quality of his music. What is surprising is the extensive use of classical guitar, which is very rarely heard in his music, perhaps only as its Spanish variations. Thereby this album has a more traditionally folk and "European" than the majority of his oeuvre. First released in 1978 on Japo Records, this is the 2001 ECM cd reissue.
Monday, May 28, 2018
The ECM debut for Japanese drummer Shinya Fukumori and his trio, consisting of pianist Walter Lang and tenor saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave, is a truly lyrical piece of jazz, without any fanfares, just beautiful quiet nightly music. Definitely an early top for 2018 ECM releases.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Swiss clarinet and sax player has been an ECM staple for some years now, having released two albums there with the trio Third Reel, offering gorgeous expansive jazz with generous doses of ambiences, improvisations and some of the best recent melodies in the genre (can anyone forget "Lara's Song"?). This is his second (I think) self-standing album after Departures, whereby his is accompanied by the musicians of his live quarter Parallels, manned among others by Colin Vallon, who's also released few albums on ECM. by 2018 cd on ECM. On the first track someone could think "oh no another ECM modern dissonant Garbarek-y high-pitched annoying jazz" but fortunately this is not the case. Here we got - mostly - subdued jazz ballads with great communication between the musicians - sometimes Vallon is arguably stealing Masson's thunder actually - and an equal amount of darkness and nostalgic emotion. Given that, there are still some more experimental and atonal moments reminding of Third Reel, especially the percussive chaos of "The Deep" and the slightly threatening "Blurred," which are probably the album's best moments along with the pensive "Almost Forty." Good job.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Take heed of this one. If cathedrals, knights and dungeons existed on spaceships, this is what music would be like there. Having recorded exclusively on church organs, up-and-coming pianist Kit Downes creates a hybrid of modern classical/jazz/improvisation/dirge/psychedelic with a variety of moods, from dark brooding funeral tones to playful dissonance (especially on the track "Modern Gods" where he inteplays with a sax), and with a droney, spacey, and sometimes bubbling style, like a mix between Arvo Part and Tangering Dream. Strong contender for album of the year. 2018 cd on ECM