Happy 40th Birthday to ECM Records

Has it really been four decades since German bassist and jazz LP collector Manfred Eicher (photo, above) launched the ECM label with pianist Mal Waldron‘s album Free at Last?

Yes, believe it or not, in 2009 ECM is celebrating its 40th anniversary. In a New York Times piece published earlier this week, Steve Smith writes about the origins and legacy of the noted classical and jazz label, home to pianist Keith Jarrett’s great Standards Trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, among many other artists.

Writes Smith, ” ‘A music producer, as I understand it, should be a trained musician in order to work with musicians, the psychological aspects,’ he (Eicher) said. ‘To be in front of the microphone, alert to things, and be able to talk about intonation, phrasing and musical structure is very helpful. If you are a musician changing from one side of the microphone to the other side, to the control room, you’re a good listener, a patient listener.’ ”

Read the rest of the piece here.

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