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Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian: Hamburg ’72

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Reissues and previously unreleased “vault” recordings are crucial to the jazz record industry. Since the start of the compact disc era in 1983, both have abounded. The steady stream of important previously unreleased old recordings has necessitated a new album designation in the jazz polls: “Historical.”

The ECM label has been late getting on this train, but they are making up for lost time. Early in the new millennium they introduced the :rarum series of artist-selected compilations from the catalog, and more recently launched the Old & New Masters reissue program. They have also gotten into the “historical” business. Hamburg ’72 is a newly unearthed live recording from a German radio concert at the NDR Funkhaus. (Nice name, but “funk” only means “radio” in German.)

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