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March Luminessence Releases

As Part of ECM’s Audiophile Luminessence Vinyl Series, the Label Releases Jan Garbarek Quartet’s

Afric Pepperbird and Keith Jarrett and Garbarek’s Luminessence on March 1

and Azimuth’s 1977 Self-Titled Album on March 29

ECM’s audiophile vinyl-reissue series Luminessence will continue its trajectory in March 2024, with three releases: the title-lending Jan Garbarek recording of Keith Jarrett compositions for string orchestra and saxophone – Luminessence – from 1975, Garbarek’s first album for the label, Afric Pepperbird, recorded in 1970, as well as the debut recording from Azimuth, first released in 1977 and documenting the special synergy of Norma Winstone, John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler.

The series is a kaleidoscope, shedding light on the jewels of the label’s deep catalogue in elegant, high-quality editions. The hallmarks of the series: original and evocative music, imaginatively played and sensitively produced. The recordings underline the scope and variety of ECM’s world of sound and the LPs are presented in different formats.

Jan Garbarek Quartet

Afric Pepperbird

Jan Garbarek Saxophones

Terje Rypdal Guitar

Arild Andersen Bass

Jon Christensen Drums

ECM 1007

Release LP: March 1 2024

Recorded in Oslo in September 1970, Afric Pepperbird was released on New Year’s Day in 1971. Half a century later, it still conveys the freshness and excitement of discoveries being made. The album signalled the arrival of four Norwegian improvisers – Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen – at the fledgling ECM label. It was the start of a lifelong association with each of the musicians, whose influence was soon to reach far beyond the borders of their homeland. In extended passages on Afric Pepperbird, with Christensen and Andersen stretching out, it’s quite often Rypdal effectively holding the centre with taut chords. Everybody is roaring here, with Garbarek deep into his free jazz vocabulary.

“Garbarek should be heard,” wrote reviewer Joe Klee in DownBeat. “I would venture that not

since Django Reinhardt has there been a European jazz musician so original and forward-

looking as this young Norwegian.”

“[Jan Garbarek’s] playing is full of jagged edges and beautiful surprises, Coltrane-influenced but his own. Garbarek should be heard. I would venture that not since Django Reinhardt has there been a European jazz musician so original and forward-looking as this young Norwegian.”

— Joe Klee, Downbeat, 1971

“Impressive, particularly the long and energetic “Beast of Kommodo”, on which Garbarek demonstrates his extraordinary tonal control – at one point he almost seems to be talking through the tenor.”

— Richard Wright, Melody Maker, 1971

Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek


Jan Garbarek Saxophones

Strings of Südfunk Symphony Orchestra

Stuttgart Orchestra

Mladen Gutesha Conductor

ECM 1049

Release LP: March 1, 2024

Mysterious, dramatic and alluring, Luminessence comes from a peak period in the creative association between Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek, recorded in 1974, immediately after their vibrant Belonging album. Here, Jarrett creates shimmering orchestral frameworks to spur Garbarek to some of his most concentrated, impassioned and expressive playing. “The melodies that Jarrett writes sound like Garbarek improvisations, so great is the rapport between the two men,” wrote Ian Carr in his Keith Jarrett biography, while DownBeat, in a five-star review, observed that “probing deep into his own personal musical cosmos, Jarrett has brought back a chilling and singular achievement that promises to stand as a landmark in the musical landscape of the ’70s,” Produced by Manfred Eicher, the album that gives the Luminessence audiophile edition its name is augmented with new liner notes providing historical context.

The record will be presented in single sleeve jackets and embossed lettering, just like the original version from the ’70s with additional printed insert and liner notes.


John Taylor Piano, Organ

Norma Winstone Voice

Kenny Wheeler Flugelhorn, Trumpet

ECM 1099

Release LP: March 29, 2024

Recorded in 1977 and now reissued in ECM’s audiophile Luminessence vinyl series, the debut album of the Azimuth trio was truly ahead of its time. Formed by adding Canadian- born trumpeter Kenny Wheeler to the British duo of pianist John Taylor and vocalist Norma Winstone, the group’s futuristic musical palette embraced hypnotic, minimalistic pulse patterns, otherworldly synthesizer sounds, songs, collective improvisation and solo flights. In recent seasons, the number of listeners under Azimuth’s sway has grown exponentially, as the music has adapted itself to new contexts. And the vast international audience that has heard fragments of Azimuth’s “The Tunnel” as part of a major rap hit in 2023 can now discover the original in its pristine form, still magical after all these years – as is the whole album. Manfred Eicher, this new edition with gatefold sleeve adds liner notes detailing Azimuth’s story.

Further Luminessence titles to follow in 2024 are Madar, the one-time coming together of three improvisational forces from multiple musical heritages with Jan Garbarek, oud-master Anouar Brahem and tabla-legend Ustad Shaukat Hussain as well as Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland and Bill Frisell’Angel Song, the Gateway debut with Dave Holland, John Abercrombie and Jack DejohnettePat Metheny’s Bright Size LifeRainer Brüninghaus with FreigewehtZakir Hussain’s Making Music with Hariprasad Chaurasia, John McLaughlin and Jan Garbarek and Bennie Maupin’s long out of print The Jewel and The Lotus. More will follow.

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