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Manfred Eicher & ECM Records: Lucidity, Transparency and the Movements of Sound

Manfred Eicher
Manfred Eicher

Every musician wants his or her work enshrined on compact disc-and now good, bad and indifferent albums swamp the market. In an idealized past, things seemed so much simpler.

In the ’50s and ’60s, Alfred Lion’s Blue Note was widely recognized as one of jazz’s premier labels. Fans bought the label’s records unheard because Blue Note stood for something tangible. The main thrust of the label was jazz fundamentalism-simple, singing themes and direct storytelling solos. Today, collectors eagerly seek out Blue Note’s back catalogue. But what of tomorrow? What label will talked about, written about and listened to in the way the old Blue Note label is today?

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