How Garbarek Got His Groove Back (plus a Gig by Joe Lovano)

It being 50 years since Manfred Eicher first set up his ECM label, it was perhaps unsurprising that this year’s London Jazz Festival should mount an ‘ECM day’, with three concerts featuring artists associated with the label. I missed the first, by the Julia Hülsmann Quartet, but managed to catch the second and third, and … Continue reading How Garbarek Got His Groove Back (plus a Gig by Joe Lovano)

Catching up with ‘in vain’ – an act not remotely in vain…

When I first heard about ‘in vain’, an orchestral work by the contemporary Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas, I confess I was little sceptical about the oft-repeated claims that it was one of the first genuine masterpieces of the 21st century. For one thing, such assessments – even when those making them include the likes … Continue reading Catching up with ‘in vain’ – an act not remotely in vain…

Two musical evenings: Shostakovich and Sibelius

I have loved the music of Jean Sibelius and Dmitri Shostakovich ever since my teens. Back then they were probably more important to me than Beethoven, and right up there with King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, David Ackles and other rock favourites. I bought their symphonies and concertos on budget labels like Classics for … Continue reading Two musical evenings: Shostakovich and Sibelius