Hardcover, 448 pages, English
Format: 30 x 22.8 x 4.3 cm
In 1969 producer Manfred Eicher founded a new record label, Edition of Contemporary Music, in Munich. More than 1,000 albums later, after many landmark recordings and new discoveries—including Keith Jarrett’s best-selling “Köln Concert,” Jan Garbarek’s saxophone improvisations, and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s profoundly moving minimalism—ECM stands as a model of musical independence unique in the history of the record industry. This portrait of the label traces how ECM set new standards with meticulously realized productions of improvised and notated music, introduced hundreds of musicians to a wider public, and has changed the way music is played, recorded, and perceived. Much more than a conventional label history, this stunningly illustrated tome celebrates and reflects on the ways in which ECM has grown and changed from its origins in jazz to contemporary classical, and from medieval chant to free jazz and traditional folk music from around the world. It includes extensive interviews with Manfred Eicher, more than 20 specially commissioned essays by an international line-up of music journalists and writers, and more than 100 contributions from artists, composers, designers, and engineers who have worked with the label, and whose voices form an oral history in counterpoint.