LABELS: ECM Rarum
PERFORMER: Terje Rypdal (g), with Palle Mikkelborg (flg), Bjorn Kjellemyr (b), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 014 201-2
It’s over 30 years since the first ECM recording was made and under the stewardship of Manfred Eicher’s astute musical sensibilities a catalogue of some 800 recordings (excluding the New Series), most of which are still in print, has accumulated. They include some of the finest jazz recorded during the latter half of the 20th century.
Although the label recorded many major American jazz musicians, such as Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Carla Bley, Gary Burton, Art Ensemble of Chicago and Bill Frisell, all of whom are represented in this cheering Rarum retrospective, Eicher provided a focus for the best of European jazz with artists such as Tomász Stanko, Eberhard Weber, Bobo Stenson, John Surman (again all a part of the Rarum series) and of course Garbarek and Rypdal whose artistic growth with the label is charted here.
Selected by the artists themselves, this series is of enormous importance in revealing the breadth of each artist’s work as much for the converted as the unconverted looking for a window into the remarkable ECM catalogue. Gems from the two Rarum releases represented here include Garbarek with the wonderful ‘European’ quartet with Keith Jarrett – ‘My Song’ and the exuberant ‘Sunshine Song’ – and Rypdal’s impressive Chasers power trio with Kjellemyr and Kleive – ‘Chaser’, ‘The Return of Per Ulv’, ‘The Curse’ and ‘Ornen’. Stuart Nicholson