Azimuth

Azimuth

CD18,90 out of print
LP39,90 add to cart
LP from the "Luminessence" Series.
 
Recorded in 1977 and now reissued in ECM’s audiophile Luminessence vinyl series, the debut album of the Azimuth trio was truly ahead of its time. Formed by adding Canadian-born trumpeter Kenny Wheeler to the British duo of pianist John Taylor and vocalist Norma Winstone, the group’s futuristic musical palette embraced hypnotic, minimalistic pulse patterns, otherworldly synthesizer sounds, songs, collective improvisation and solo flights. In recent seasons, the number of listeners under Azimuth’s sway has grown exponentially, as the music has adapted itself to new contexts. And the vast international audience that has heard fragments of Azimuth’s “The Tunnel” as part of a major rap hit in 2023 can now discover the original in its pristine form, still magical after all these years – as is the whole album. Produced by Manfred Eicher, this new edition with gatefold sleeve adds liner notes detailing Azimuth’s story.
Featured Artists Recorded

March 1977, Talent Studio, Oslo

Original Release Date

01.09.1977

  • 1Sirens' Song
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    04:11
  • 2O
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    06:48
  • 3Azimuth
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    12:14
  • 4The Tunnel
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    09:14
  • 5Greek Triangle
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    02:04
  • 6Jacob
    (John Taylor, Norma Winstone)
    08:47
“Azimuth” really is a high spot for contemporary creative music, even within the realms of ECM itself.
A haunting, penetrating blend of slow-paced urgency. An intimate yet boundless album, “Azimuth” could well become a landmark…
Album Tracking, 1977
 
Hervorragend. Wörter wie endlos, schwebend, schweifend kommen eine beim Hören dieser eigenartig schönen, besänftigenden Musik in den Sinn.
Manfred Sack, Die Zeit, 1977
 
This trio has obviously worked long and hard to create for its members a new viewpoint. The result is provocative and entirely successful, whether one judges it by the excellence of Taylor’s soloing or by the overall sense… The elements of Azimuth are perfectly attuned. They would count for little, however, without the careful structures provided by Taylor. This album may be the first sign of his evolution into a genuinely important composer: behind its graceful flowing beauty lies a spirit of inquiry which will surely lead further.
Richard Wright, Melody Maker, 1977
 
John Taylor, der bisher fast ausschließlich auf dem elektrischen Piano zu hören war, hat zum Flügel zurückgefunden. Das ist ein Gewinn: Sein gepflegter Anschlag kommt nun richtig zur Geltung und verleiht, frei von Effekthascherei, seinen Kompositionen einen kammermusikalischen Touch, der den Liedern mit und ohne Worte gut ansteht. Die bald ätherisch-helle, bald neblig-trübe, bald rauchig-dunkle Stimme Norma Winstones mischt sich, konsequent instrumental eingesetzt, so gut mit Kenny Wheelers verhalten geblasenem Flügelhorn, dass man gelegentlich Mühe hat, beide zu unterscheiden.
Peter Steder, Audio, 1977
 
This is yet another album perfectly representative of ECM’s recording policy and, I suppose, of Manfred Eicher’s personal convictions and tastes. Eicher, it seems, strictly follows his artistic credo, rather than the latest fashionable trends and market surveys. “Azimuth” is an album which is as well thought out and composed, as it is performed. An extremely homogeneous music, based above all on harmonic coloring and the use of a specific mood. All three featured musicians have done a splendid job in regard to both their performance and creative inspiration. This album is very interesting and deserves to be commended.
Andrzej Trzaskowski, Record Reviews, 1977
 
Mühelos lässt Norma Winstone ihre Stimme über den ganzen Bereich der Tonskala schwirren, gibt den einzelnen Tönen emotionale Tiefe und sinnlichen Gehalt. „Azimuth“ verbindet kunstvoll grandiose Technik mit musikalischer Wärme, nicht Greifbares mit Emotion, Ästhetik mit musikalischem Tiefgang.
Stereo, 1977
 
This programme of John Taylor compositions is all of a piece, beautifully realized and typified by Norma Winstone’s lyric on “Jacob”: “gently swaying flowers, cool hypnotic beauty”. There’s a great sense of space in which amplitude and focus are regulated to a nicety. A considerable achievement…
Jazz Journal International, 1977
 
Listening again to ‘Luminessence’ one marvels at the detail in the orchestration and the playing of Jan Garbarek. ECM was a still a relatively new label at the time of recording this ambitious work and both Jarrett and Garbarek were not thirty years old. If much of their best work was still ahead of them, then ‘Luminessence’ is a remarkable achievement that has not dated at all.
Nick Lea, Jazz Views