The 2010 ECM album Purcor - Songs for Saxophone and Piano features tenor/soprano saxophonist Trygve Seim and pianist Andreas Utnem dueting on various original and traditional compositions. Although this is the first time the two musicians have recorded together, their partnership extends back to the mid-'90s when Utnem, working with Norway's Church City Mission foundation, invited Seim to perform with him at several church services. Choosing from a mix of liturgical compositions for mass and some original pieces, Utnem then played in his own classical- and jazz-based style while Seim improvised around him. The result, as heard on this album, is a kind of hybrid of classical, jazz, and folk styles fits nicely into the softly introspective, and cerebral ECM approach.
The Vienna Art Orchestra is a 15-member jazz orchestra that features the avant-garde arrangements and compositions of its leader, pianist Mathias Ruegg. This is a reissue of their 1980 debut, an important document in the post-modern jazz movement. The opening, title track is a joyous, folkish tango that's been cartoonishly toyed with, featuring three solo sections. The marimba section is also ornamented with vocalese from Lauren Newton, followed by an extremely playful horn lead that sounds like a toy instrument. The solo offering from violinist Rudi Berger has an electronically effected fusion sound. A tight, alto sax solo by Wolfgang Puschnig ties everything together neatly with a lengthy, unaccompanied performance.
Gabriel is a totally unique artist, creating an enticing and varied palette of textures and colors with his trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, valve ‘bone, and electronic wind instruments with erudite grace and lyricism. He has had a half dozen Billboard Top 20 charting tracks of his own, and many more with other Artists as featured soloist, incl. 2016 releases by Greg Manning, Rock Hendricks, Tony Saunders, & Bob Baldwin.
In 2006, Howe Gelb embarked on a journey with a gospel choir with the result the astounding, critically acclaimed album Sno' Angel Like You. This new chapter sees Howe embellish a troop of amenco playing gypsies, including the virtuoso guitarist Raimundo Amador (collaborated with Bjork and BB King) and is mixed by the legendary John Parish (PJ Harvey). Recorded atop a Cordoba roof with his 'Band Of Gypsies' in the AndalucAa sun, Alegrias, is an exceptional new work from Howe Gelb. Originally only available in Spain, where the record enjoyed considerable success due in part to the wondrous contribution from Flamenco guitar virtuoso Raimundo Amador, Fire is pleased to be releasing the latest jewel in the considerable crown of Howe Gelb's musical delights.