Cover Driftwood

Album info



Label: ECM

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Mainstream Jazz

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Joseph06:06
  • 2Uptown07:34
  • 3Cambiata05:33
  • 4Highline05:41
  • 5Driftwood03:42
  • 6Lichtzelle04:47
  • 7Madame Vonn04:38
  • 8Bossa for Michael Brecker05:01
  • Total Runtime43:02

Info for Driftwood

Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel makes his ECM leader debut with Driftwood, a trio album of subtlety and depth featuring renowned US jazz players Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade. Muthspiel – who recently made his first ECM appearance on Travel Guide as a member of a cooperative trio with fellow guitarists Ralph Towner and Slava Grigoryan – has enjoyed long, productive musical friendships live and on record with both Grenadier and Blade, leading to a sense of telepathic interplay on Driftwood. The trio creates a ravishing sound, captured with fidelity at Rainbow Studio in Oslo. Muthspiel has been praised by The Times of London for his “restless musical imagination”. Lyrical, grooving and atmospheric by turns, the guitarist’s compositions on Driftwood include tributes to his heroes Joe Zawinul and Michael Brecker.

Driftwood sees Muthspiel exploit the rich sonic qualities of the guitar – electric and acoustic – even as he aims for a sort of ‘piano-trio ideal’ in terms of harmonic density and polyphony. “I wanted to feature the liquidity and wide horizon of the guitar,“ he says, “while also approaching the contrapuntal possibilities of a piano trio.”

Although this is the first album featuring Muthspiel with both Grenadier and Blade, the guitarist has worked with each of them separately for years. Muthspiel first played alongside Grenadier in Gary Burton’s band in the mid-’90s, with their subsequent work together including a 2011 album as the trio Drumfree with saxophonist Andy Scherrer. The guitarist has known Blade since the late ’90s, and the two eventually recorded a pair of trio albums with bassist Marc Johnson. Muthspiel and Blade have also recorded studio and live albums together as a rare guitar-drums duo, Friendly Travelers.

Wolfgang Muthspiel, guitar
Larry Grenadier, double bass
Brian Blade, drums

Recorded May 2013 at Rainbow Studio Oslo
Engineered by Jan Erik Kongshaug
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Wolfgang Muthspiel
was born in 1965 in Judenburg, Austria. He played violin from age 6 and took up guitar at 15. At the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, he studied both classical and jazz guitar, subsequently winning national competitions for classical music as well as the International Guitar Competition in Mettmann, Germany. Interested in improvisation from an early age, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1986 to study at the New England Conservatory. At the Berklee School of Music in Boston, he met Gary Burton, who invited him to join his quintet. While based in New York from 1995 to 2002, he performed with a diverse array of artists: Trilok Gurtu, Youssou N’Dour, Gary Peacock, Dave Liebman, Peter Erskine and Rebekka Bakken, among others. Current projects include his duo with Brian Blade, a quartet featuring pianist Jean-Paul Brodbeck, and a trio with Larry Grenadier and saxophonist Chris Cheek. In addition to his jazz projects, Muthspiel writes for contemporary classical ensembles and has received commissions from the Ensemble for New Music Zurich, Klangforum Wien, the Austrian Ministry of Arts, the Boston-based Marimolin ensemble and more.

Larry Grenadier
was born in 1966 in San Francisco. Along with formative experiences touring in the bands of Gary Burton and Joe Henderson, the bassist toured and recorded in the Pat Metheny Trio with drummer Bill Stewart. Grenadier was a co-founding member of the original Brad Mehldau Trio with drummer Jorge Rossy, and he continues as a member of the Mehldau Trio with drummer Jeff Ballard. Grenadier’s cooperative trio Fly with Ballard and saxophonist Mark Turner has made three albums, including two for ECM. The bassist has worked with artists from Paul Motian to Kurt Rosenwinkel, as well as recording several albums with his wife, singer Rebecca Martin. Grenadier has played on ECM albums by Charles Lloyd, Chris Potter and Enrico Rava.

Brian Blade
was born in 1970 in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised with gospel music in the Baptist church, later studying in New Orleans and working with many masters of Crescent City music. A member of the Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet, the drummer has also recorded with artists from Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois to Bill Frisell, Kenny Garrett and Joshua Redman. In 1997, Blade formed the Fellowship Band with pianist Jon Cowherd; the group has recorded four albums, including most recently Landmarks. In 2009, Blade released Mama Rosa, his first album as a singer-songwriter.

Booklet for Driftwood

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