It’s final call on ECM Records for 2018


We really need to have a talk about ECM Records


Florian Weber – Lucent Waters

The melodies on the latest from Florian Weber are refracted light, where the misshapen beauty is more attractive than in its pure form.  This is music for late nights when life hasn’t made things easy, and the inoculation for its effects is to simply end the day with a little cocoon of peacefulness.  A drink, a view of the city outside, some moonlight pouring across the floor, a cat snoring peacefully nearby, and Lucent Waters on the stereo.  The pianist has made this album especially for you, for times like these.  He’s joined by bassist Linda May Han Oh, trumpeter Ralph Alessi and drummer Nasheet Waits.

Learn more at ECM Records.  Available at Amazon.


Andrew Cyrille – Lebroba

Every note delivered on Lebroba is heavy with implications, a melodic weight that imparts its immediacy as well as its potential in the same breath.  And yet, this weighty presence doesn’t hobble the music from flying free and light.  The element most responsible for liftoff is the rhythmic patter from Andrew Cyrille.  Like the wings of birds taking flight, his brush work is the swift but gentle motion that transforms the introspective tones from guitarist Bill Frisell and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith into something that borders on uplifting.  This effect is most beneficial on those pieces where volatility is a key element, but the magnetic beauty of a ballad like “Pretty Beauty” shows Cyrille’s touch in all its brilliance.

Learn more at ECM Records.  Available at Amazon.


Shai Maestro – The Dream Thief

There a pleasant meandering demeanor to this trio session from pianist Shai Maestro, double bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Ofri Nehemya.  Melodies aren’t offered as a thesis statement so much as they are directional indicators on a map.  And though there’s no real sense of predictability when it comes do the music’s trajectory, the trio maintains a strong focus throughout.  Even as they subtly alter directions, the interaction between the musicians is a succinct conversation that gets increasingly nuanced the longer it continues.  This dual purpose recording is just as useful for getting lost in daydreams as it is for some meaningful engagement.  Good stuff.

Learn more at ECM Records.  Available at Amazon.

And be sure to check out our rundowns of other recent ECM Records releases.