ECM February and March Releases
ECM Releases New Albums by
Bobo Stenson Trio, Ralph Alessi Quartet and
Gianluigi Trovesi & Stefano Montanari
ECM announces new albums, including Bobo Stenson Trio’s Sphere, Ralph Alessi Quartet’s It’s Always Now and Gianluigi Trovesi & Stefano Montanari’s Stravaganze consonanti. More information on these releases is available below.
Gianluigi Trovesi & Stefano Montanari | Stravaganze consonanti | February 24, 2023
In this inspired collaboration with conductor and baroque violinist Stefano Montanari, the masterful Italian reedman Gianluigi Trovesi extends the line of musical enquiry posited on his Prufumo di violetta album. Supported by a cast of players well-versed in the ancient sounds of period instruments and the art of historical performance practice, Trovesi looks anew at music of the renaissance and the baroque – at Purcell, Dufay, Trabaci, Desprez and more – adding compositions of his own and stirring some improvising with percussion and electronics man Fulvio Maras into the intoxicating brew. As Montanari writes in the CD booklet, “Trovesi grasps the power and refinement of a language that passes in the blink of an eye from Dufay to Purcell, arriving at jazz without ever losing the profound meaning of a musical fabric whose primary motive is universal communication.”
Bobo Stenson Trio | Sphere | March 17, 2023
The Bobo Stenson Trio’s ability of covering far-reaching idioms and wide-ranging repertoire within the scope of their personal diction has become both hallmark and custom, inspiring The New York Times to say the pianist “makes sublime piano-trio records without over-playing. It’s pulsating, lumpy with long improvised phrases; it’s alive.” Charting an equally subtle and idiosyncratic path through originals and melodies derived from various Scandinavian composers, the distinguished group proves of a particularly supple alchemy on Sphere. Here, a variety of musical tenets coexist in the unique blend, which the Swedish pianist has wrought, developed and refined over decades of collaboration with ECM and Manfred Eicher, who, as Bobo says “brings out the musicians’ best qualities” and produced the record. The pianist’s cohorts, Anders Jormin on bass and drummer Jon Fält, together accompanying the leader since Cantando in 2008, are more than ideal musical partners to Bobo’s soft touch and infinite appetite for interplay. Bobo: “We don’t have a way of playing ‘ready-made.’ Things crystallize in the moment and we adjust to that. And that’s the quintessence. That’s the joy of playing together, to never do the same thing twice and to be determined about that.” The album was recorded at the Auditorio Stelio Molo in Lugano, in April 2022.
Ralph Alessi Quartet | It’s Always Now | March 17, 2023
Ralph Alessi’s fourth appearance as a leader for the label follows a singular album run that’s been met with nothing but praise from The New York Times to The Guardian. The latter lauded Ralph’s previous recording Imaginary Friends (2019) for its “elegant balance of poignant, playful original compositions and gracefully probing improv” and declared it “his best album yet.” It’s Always Now however brims with arguments that there is a new contender for that title. On his new album, Alessi’s unique tone is as limber, piercing and present as ever, enveloped by a fresh quartet line-up – pianist Florian Weber, Bänz Oester on bass and drummer Gerry Hemingway – that navigates through the trumpeter’s idiosyncratically swinging compositions with a sixth sense. The album is not only a continuation of the leader’s work but also records Florian’s evolution on the label, this being his fourth album with ECM to date. His distinctive harmonic approach on keys is as evident in leader settings as in the role of a sideman, and his deep sensibility for Alessi’s pulse enhances this session, which was produced by Manfred Eicher.
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