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New CDs From ECM On the Way

ECM-obsessed jazz fans will be sated later this month, and then again in early May, when the label releases three new albums, one apiece from guitarist John Abercrombie (pictured), pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Arild Anderson.

The Abercrombie disc, titled Class Trip, is a quartet date with violinist Mark Feldman, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Marc Johnson-the same band that Abercrombie used on his 2000 ECM effort, Cat ‘n’ Mouse. Like it’s predecessor, Class Trip is made up mostly of songs written either by Abercrombie or the whole band that head into free-improvisation land. The one exception among its 11 tracks is the next-to-last track, a three-minute version of classical composer Bela Bartok’s “Soldier’s Song.” The album comes out April 27. Here’s a track list:

John Abercrombie Class Trip


Risky Business

Descending Grace


Cat Walk

Excuse My Shoes


Jack and Betty

Class Trip

Soldier’s Song


Also out April 27 is Storyteller by the Marilyn Crispell Trio. Crispell’s last trio disc, the intense Amaryllis, featured bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian. This time Mark Helias steps in for Peacock. Each trio member is featured as a composer over the course of Storyteller‘s 11 tracks, but, strangely enough, only three of these tunes are Crispell’s.

Storyteller track list:

Wild Rose (Crispell)

Flight of the Bluejay (Motian)

The Storyteller (Motian)

Alone (Crispell)

Harmonic Line (Helias)

Cosmology 2 (Motian)

Limbo (Helias)

Play (Motian)

The Sunflower (Motian)

Cosmology 1 (Motian)

So Far, So Near (Crispell)

You’ll have to wait a couple extra weeks for Andersen’s The Triangle. The Norwegian bassist’s fifteenth recording fro ECM comes out May 11 and features Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos and drummer John Marshall. The Triangle can be viewed as a follow-up to Tsabropoulos’ 2000 recording for ECM, the lovely chamber-jazz effort Achirana, which featured the same trio. Here’s a track list:





Simple Thoughts



European Triangle

Cinderella Song