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PLASY ORGAN
F10157    8595017415722     2CD + bonus CD

Bull, Byrd, Froberger, Muffat, van Noordth, Pachelbel, Scheid, Sweelinck, Tůma, Weckmann

Jaroslav Tůma: organ by Abraham Starck from 1688


JAN GARBAREK GROUP – DRESDEN IN CONCERT
ECM2100/01     060252709572(1)    

Jan Garbarek: soprano and tenor saxophones; Rainer Brüninghaus: keyboards; Yuri Daniel: bass; Manu Katché: drums

This one is very eagerly-awaited: it has been six years since Jan Garbarek’s last album as a leader (“In Praise of Dreams”). And, moreover, this double-album – recorded in Dresden’s Alter Schlachthof in October 2007 – is also the first-ever live set from the highly-popular Garbarek Group. The band, now including Brazilian bassist Yuri Daniel, powers through repertoire old and new, and the Norwegian saxophonist is in top form, his exchanges with Manu Katche’s bold, emphatic drums particularly exciting. Material includes “12 Moons”, “There Were Swallows”, “Voy Cantando”, an ecstatic version of “Paper Nut” (last heard on Shankar’s “Song for Everyone”) and much more. Released in time for Jan’s extensive autumn tour.



STEFANO BOLLANI TRIO – STONE IN THE WATER
ECM2080     60251794161(8)

Stefano Bollani: piano; Jesper Bodilsen: double-bass; Morten Lund: drums

“Stone in the Water” features the brilliant Italian pianist’s “Danish trio”, a group that has been honing its improvisational understanding for six years already. Bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund (both making ECM debuts) draw on a still longer association, having collaborated closely for more than 15 years. The three players move, with immense subtlety, through a fascinating programme that includes new pieces by Bollani and Bodilsen, plus ballads by Caetano Veloso and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Poulenc’s “Improvisation 13 en mineur”, bringing fresh colours to the piano trio genre.


JOHN ABERCROMBIE QUARTET – WAIT TILL YOU SEE HER
ECM2102     60251798630(5)

John Abercrombie: guitar; Mark Feldman: violin; Thomas Morgan: double-bass; Joey Baron: drums

Guitarist Abercrombie’s alliance with violinist Mark Feldman has proven to be an enduringly creative musical association: they have been playing and recording together for more than a decade now, starting with the “Open Land” sextet of 1998, and following with the quartet albums “Cat’n’Mouse”, “Class Trio “ and “The Third Quartet”. With “Wait Till You See Her” (named for the old Rogers & Hart show tune that Abercrombie plays so tenderly), the line-up of the quartet is adjusted to admit the excellent young bassist Thomas Morgan, whose adroit playing reveals a LaFaro-esque invention. As ever, the core team of Abercrombie, Feldman, and drummer Joey Baron play subtle, elegant and profound jazz.


ANOUAR BRAHEM - THE ASTOUNDING EYES OF RITA
ECM 2075     60251798628(2)

Anouar Brahem: oud; Klaus Gesing: bass clarinet; Björn Meyer: bass; Khaled Yassine: percussion

Delightful new project, assembled by Tunisian oud master Brahem with producer Manfred Eicher. Combination of bass clarinet with oud suggests a link to Anouar’s “Thimar” trio, but this East/West line-up often feels closer to the more traditionally-inclined sounds of “Barzakh” or “Conte de l’Incroyable Amour”. Klaus Gesing, from Norma Winstone’s Trio, and Björn Meyer, from Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, are both players with an affinity for musical sources beyond jazz, and they interact persuasively inside Brahem’s music. A dance of dark, warm sounds, urged onward by the darbouka and frame drum of Lebanaese percussionist Khaled Yassine. The album is dedicated to the memory of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.


OTHMAR SCHOECK: NOTTURNO OP. 47
Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett und Singstimme
ECM New Series 2061     02894766995(1)

Christian Gerhaher: baritone; Rosamunde Quartett

Although being generally acknowledged as one of the leading composers of his native Switzerland, Othmar Schoeck (1886–1957) has never acquired a stable reputation outside the German-speaking world. This is partly due to his strong focus on the sung word: His output comprises eight operas, some 400 songs and a couple of smaller works for instrumental forces. Moreover, Schoeck’s essentially late-romantic style was considered démodé after the second world war when the avant-garde was arguing for a more rational and emotionally restricted approach to composition. One of his most personal works is the “Notturno” for baritone voice and string quartet. Written between 1931 and 1933 it served as a personal confession after an unhappy extra-marital love affair. Its five movements set verses by German 19th-century-poet Nikolaus Lenau and by the great Swiss writer Gottfried Keller. The highly differentiated interpretation by baritone Christian Gerhaher – one of the most distinguished young German “Lied” singers and a former disciple of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau – and the Rosamunde Quartett offers a strong plea for Schoeck’s expressive music and sheds an exciting light on his artistic preoccupation with the dark abysses of human existence.


MORTON FELDMAN, BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN, ARNOLD SCHÖNBERG, IANNIS XENAKIS
ECM New Series 2113     02894763310(5)

Morton Feldman (1926-1987): Spring of Chosroes (1978)
Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970): Sonate für Violine und Klavier (1950)
Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951): Phantasy for Violin with Piano accompaniment, op. 47 (1949)
Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001): Dikhthas (1979)

Carolin Widmann: violin, Simon Lepper: piano

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