For more than 25 years, Anouar Brahem has taken his oud all over far off lands. A melodic impressionist and a for ever inspired improvisor, the Tunisian musician has above all toppled the barriers which separate genres…
Though Richie Beirach isn't obscure, he isn't as well-known as he should be. A flexible pianist, Beirach can be quite lyrical on standards, although being cerebral and abstract also comes easy to him. One of the more cerebral, unsentimental albums he recorded in the '90s was Trust, a fine post-bop trio date boasting Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums.
The halfway point in ECM's excellent 20-volume Rarum series is by one of its signature talents: bassist, composer, and bandleader Dave Holland. These documents are, essentially, career retrospectives wherein the artist chooses from his performances on the label, either as a leader, soloist, or sideman. Holland offers a fantastic cross section from his own catalog, with one exception. That selection is the album's opener, "How's Never" from Homecoming, the second album by Gateway, a trio Holland was involved in with guitarist John Abercrombie and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Most of the rest come from his celebrated 1980s and 1990s recordings with then-young luminaries such as Steve Coleman, Chris Potter, Smitty Smith, Kevin and Robin Eubanks, and ECM veterans such as Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester, and Steve Wilson.
'Timeless' is right–in the future, this is the kind of interplanetary jazz they're going to be playing at the docking stations of newly colonized planets. Recorded in 1974, 'Timeless' is very much a product of its age. Lightning fast guitar and keyboard runs, hi-hats, and drums writhe around each other in serpentine fury, giving way to moments of stately grace and calm waters such as "Love Song." Composer John Abercrombie has remained one of the great session men and in-demand guitarists in both jazz and avant-garde circles since the mid-'70s.
GRAMMY nominated - 2005 - Jazz instrumental
What Now? continues Wheeler’s exploration of a drumless modern jazz approach and features him on flugelhorn only. Taylor joins Wheeler again for this project, in addition to other longtime musical collaborators, bassist Dave Holland and tenor saxophonist Chris Potter. What Now? features eight original compositions by Wheeler and displays a fluidity of band interplay that comes from the personal working history these four great musicians have of each other, as Ira Gitler explains in the album’s liner notes. Wheeler adds, “Strong players as these three are an orchestra in themselves. You give them a piece of paper and you don’t have to say anything.”