ECM

Mathieu Bitton

When Don Was took the helm at Blue Note Records not quite a decade ago, it looked from the outside like a trusted industry vet moving up from the control room to the board room. That wasn’t the way he saw it, though.

Woong Chun Al

Today is Keith Jarrett’s birthday, but he’s the one bearing a gift.

To be more precise, ECM Records has released a new track by the celebrated pianist: a sensitive treatment of “Answer Me, My Love,” recorded at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, Hungary on July 3, 2016. It’s the first taste of an album scheduled for release sometime in the fall.

Roberto Masotti / ECM Records

Jon Christensen, a Norwegian drummer whose firm yet flowing pulse helped shift the parameters for European jazz, notably as one of the most widely recorded sidemen on ECM Records, died on Tuesday in Oslo. He was 76.

Monica Jane Frisell / ECM Records

One thing I’ve noticed over two decades’ worth of interviews with Vijay Iyer, the award-winning pianist and composer, is that he doesn’t instinctively start talking about himself. He’s much more inclined to spread the musical gospel and teachings of the masters before him. 

Autumn brings a cornucopia for jazz fans. 

Must-have albums, can’t-miss festivals, sounds both old and new. WBGO has gathered 88 highlights for your enjoyment, with expert commentary. (Pumpkin spice sold separately.)

Eli Johnson / Courtesy of Big Ears Festival

At one point during the final stretch of this year's Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., you could have pried yourself away from a distortion-jacked Sun of Goldfinger show to join a clutch of fans hurrying over to see The Art Ensemble of Chicago. In making that calculation (a typical one, for Big Ears), you'd have been weighing two wildly different experiences with one notable thing in common: Both groups have an affiliation with the sonically adventurous label ECM Records.

In the 1990s, two seemingly limitless creative minds forged an important relationship. Now, almost three decades later, that bond is reaching its cosmic potential.