Fretshop Retrospective ECM records day 74

ECM 1489 John Abercrombie/Dan Wall/Adam Nussbaum “While We Were Young” 1993.

Dan Wall, Hammond organ; John Abercrombie, guitar; Adam Nussbaum, drums. Recorded at New York’s Power Station June 1992. This is an organ trio. That combo is usually driven by the Organist but here it’s clearly a guitar driven record. Abercrombie is blistering throughout. Clearly inspired by what they were doing together. Wall’s organ work is pretty pedestrian but solid. A good foundation for Abercrombie to free himself to do as he likes. Nussbaum is solid and inventive without ever revealing himself too much, but his solos clearly demonstrate he’s a bad ass. I like this vehicle for Abercrombie. Great Organ and Drum combo that can play well but holds the reins in deference to Abercrombie. It’s a good fit for him, at least here on this record. He seems inspired and energized. Nice way for him to get a good musical ass kicking at 50.

ECM 1490 Gary Peacock/Ralph Towner “Oracle” 1993.

Ralph Towner, 12-string guitar, classical guitar; Gary Peacock, double bass. Holy cow. How did I miss this record? It’s fantastic! If I gave stars out I’d dump the whole truck on this one. Peacock shreds. He and Towner blow through these works with easy mastery. Both have formidable skills and more often than not they restrain themselves serving the ensemble and the work. Here they are playfully challenging each other as they rip through these tracks with a ferocity we usually don’t hear from ECM duo records. Damn. Jazz fans look this up. It’s bad ass!

ECM 1491. Merideth Monk “Atlas-Opera in Three Parts” 1993.

Nope, not listening to this shit. She got 10 more minutes of my life than most people who do this would. Next….

ECM 1493 Alrid Andersen/Ralph Towner/Nana Vasconsuelos “If You Look Far Enough” 1993.

Ralph Towner, guitar; Arild Andersen, bass; Audun Kleive, snare drum; Nana Vasconcelos, percussion. Recorded during 3 different sessions in ’89, ’91,’92. This record is another one familiar to me. Andersen just burns through the whole thing. Great relationship between the players. I might like Towner with Andersen better than Peacock, although that percussion really moves things along, even if its just a shaker. Lovely melodies on the heads of the ballads. Andersen shows off his range of skills on this record. The bass drives everything in every tune. Tears it up with the bow here and there and even whips out the OC2 octaver on his double bass in one tune; shreds like he’s Jaco on a jazz bass. Crazy good bass record and a lovely ECM flagship recording.

ECM 1494 Christopher Bowers-Broadbent “Oliver Messiaen-Meditations Sur Le Mystere De La Sainte Trinite” 1995.

Solo Organ work recorded in Lucerne Switzerland. Bowers-Broadbent is a fantastic organist and this record is a perfect sonic capture. I don’t know this piece well enough to make comment on the interpretation but Its wild and dramatic and brilliant. If you dig classical organ works this is worthy of a look.