Tell me about: ECM records

i’ve been thinking of doing threads like this for a while. maybe there’s something “somewhat big” that i have maybe a little bit of understanding about, but blind spots-a-plenty. you, on the other hand, know a LOT about this thing and are here to give me all the recommendations, tips and tricks.

today, i want to know what you know about ECM records.

here’s what i know - there’s lots of them. i get the feeling that they’re like decorative candles for boomers with decent stereo systems - they made a nice gift in the 70s/80s and were somewhat bland and easy to ignore, and non-offensive at a dinner party. when i was working in the record stores, we treated them with mild disdain - there were so many and nobody was buying them. every collection we bought had a couple, at least.

i did have a customer that everyone called “ECM tim” and he was as nice as could be and had the definitive collection of ECM vinyl but honestly, our conversations were much more about neighborhood happenings and what was good in the world, rather than his mighty collection of smooth jazz fusion.

so here’s what i know - this is a good record and is the right combo of cool and slightly odd and icy and i like a 20-minute sort of companion piece to “transfer station blue”. i like the roland rhythm arranger too.

i just got this one and it’s recorded in minnesota - and sounds like it. at time the guitar tone sounds like angry alan sparhawk - at other times it’s quiet and contemplative. i like it. more of this please.

i like this one too. but i pretty much like any charlie haden.

SO - what’s good? there’s acres of keith jarrett and gary burton and terje rypdal and jan garbarek and so much more. where’s the cosmic, clever and engaging stuff your dad tripped out to on a sunday night, wearing 14lb headphones?


Have a look at this thread from a while back :wink:

lol and here the whole time i could have just used the search function.


my god, i even commented in that thread


We’ve all been there!


A recent favorite: wonderful chill oud jazz & a lovely pressing over four sides, special record:

As you wrote above, quite a few people have the conception of ECM as a jazz label but they have some lovely classical records as well as on their sister label New Series. It’s a more diverse label than many would think based off of the classics (Koln concert, Metheny, etc)

CD-only, I think:ás-Schiff-J-S-Bach-Goldberg-Variationsändel-Keith-Jarrett-Suites-For-Keyboard

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a sure sign that this forum is coming of age! :joy:


it’s a sign of something, that’s for sure - nothing i’m proud of (sigh)


One of my favourite ECM records/songs


really really enjoyed that anouar brahem album, and frankly that sort of sound isn’t normally my sort of thing. it was exactly the right mood for the moment. will be digging into your other suggestions here throughout the day (with the exception of the steve reich, which i’m already familiar with).

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“timeless” is twelve minutes of awesome.

i did find a lot of the other tracks on this album full of noodly or chaotic speed runs - especially the leading track. makes sense though - it’s 1975, you got jan hammer and jack dejohnette - might as well channel some mahavishnu orchestra energy as that’s what’s in fashion.


I propose we merge threads with the older one! I’ve almost reposted a bunch of stuff here which I already posted there.

agree - meet you in the old thread.

yeah you’re absolutely right: when its good, it’s REALLY good, but there’s definitely some padding!

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OH, and how could I forget!

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