I have been graciously asked to contribute capsule reviews (of 100 words or less) to Shfl, a phenomenal music recommendation tool for exploring old favorites and making new discoveries across genres. If you want to read my thoughts on key ECM albums in shorter bursts, check out my first wave of 100 reviews here, and the second of 25 here.
Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates, as I’ll be posting new batches there every Friday over the coming weeks. Never stop listening!
For those who have an interest in the legalities of the popular music industry, look no further than this indispensible book on the Music Modernization Act (MMA), one of the most important pieces of copyright legislation to be passed in the last century. I was honored to serve as editor for this project, which I saw from inception to completion, and know the author, E. Maxwell, to be unparalleled in his passion for making the MMA palatable to lay audiences. In these times of social isolation, when the very concept of live performance has been drastically altered, it’s more imperative than ever to fight for what songwriters are owed in light of all the behind-the-scenes efforts they put into creating music that defines culture and history while marking time like breadcrumbs along a trail.
The book may be ordered directly from Amazon here.
As of today, I have reviewed every compilation album put out by ECM, including the “Works” and :rarum series. You can check them all out here. Thank you all for reading, as always. Stay tuned for a few more special reviews and other ECM-related surprises.
As of April 2020, Between Sound and Space has reached 2 million hits. A big and heartfelt thank you to all who have continued reading, listening, and sharing your memories with me over the past decade. Here’s to millions more!
In 2010, I embarked on a life-changing journey through the entire ECM catalogue. Five years later, I reached synchronicity when I reviewed every album on the ECM, ECM New Series, and JAPO imprints. In the wake of that milestone, my attentions were pulled in many different directions, as I was simultaneously raising a new family, earning a Ph.D., teaching, publishing as both author and translator, sharpening my skills as a traveling music journalist and photographer, and pivoting into newfound spiritual awakenings. Consequently, my ability to keep step with ECM’s unflagging release schedule—which now averages one new album per week—waned in the light of these and other commitments. And so, imagine my (lack of) surprise when, upon deciding to resume this project in earnest, I realized that I had fallen behind by about 200 albums. On this, the 14th day of November 2019, I can humbly say that synchronicity has been restored. Whether by coincidence or unconscious design, just as my final “catch-up” release in 2015 was Keith Jarrett’s Creation, this time around it happens to be Jarrett’s Munich 2016, released only two weeks ago. The significance will hardly be lost on you, my dear readers. And how fortuitous, too, that I should arrive at this point in the heart of ECM’s 50th anniversary. Going forward, I aim to be your go-to source for the most up-to-date reviews and will be unveiling a few surprises, so stay tuned. The extent of my gratitude may just be bigger than the influence of the label to which I offer it. My deepest thanks to you for continuing to share it with me.
I am humbled and pleased to announce that my book on ECM is finally coming out this week. Between Sound and Space: An ECM Records Primer is to be published by Rey+Naranjo in a first edition available only to the South American market, then as a global edition early next year (preorders will be available soon).
I have been graciously invited to present two talks at the Bogotá International Book Fair. My first talk will be “ECM Records: Listen, Watch and Remain Silent,” to be given this Sunday, April 28. The second will be “The Collector as Historian,” to be given on April 30th. Please attend and introduce yourself if you’re in the Bogotá area!
To my faithful readers: Do any of you have requests for albums you would like to see me review sooner rather than later?
Since reaching synchronicity with ECM in 2015, I have fallen behind a bit in the past few years. By my count, that leaves about 115 albums to catch up on. Check out the “By Catalogue #” page to see the albums I haven’t yet reviewed.