ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by Karl Egger, Manfred Eicher and Manfred Scheffner in Munich in 1969. While ECM is best known for jazz music, the label has released a variety of recordings, and ECM's artists often refuse to acknowledge boundaries between genres. ECM has been distributed in the U.S. by Warner Bros. Records, PolyGram Records, BMG, and, since 1999, Universal Music, the successor of PolyGram, worldwide. The first ECM release produced by Manfred Scheffner was pianist Mal Waldron's 1969 recording Free at Last. The label went on to release recordings by many prominent jazz musicians. The ECM New Series was created in 1984 to document Western classical works. It has released works by composers from the early (Thomas Tallis, Carlo Gesualdo, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina) to the contemporary (John Cage, Elliott Carter, Steve Reich and John Adams). The series was initiated for Arvo Pärt's record debut Tabula Rasa, which Eicher recorded and produced in 1977, 1983, and 1984. Since then Pärt and Eicher have built a strong relationship: all works premiere on recordings for the label and all are done in presence of the composer. Keith Jarrett, better known as a jazz musician, contributed together with Gidon Kremer amongst others to Tabula Rasa. He later recorded several classical works by Bach, Mozart, Shostakovich, and others for the series. On many releases, the jazz and classical sides of ECM are combined: For example, Garbarek's Officium (1994) features him playing saxophone solos over the Hilliard Ensemble singing Gregorian chant, early polyphony and Renaissance works. Garbarek's work with guitarist Ralph Towner draws on, and is as apparently influenced by, 20th century chamber music as by any overtly jazz-oriented material. John Potter, formerly of the Hilliard Ensemble, has recorded works by John Dowland with jazz saxophonist John Surman and others, and Surman's Proverbs and Songs is a suite of choral settings of Old Testament texts, recorded in Salisbury Cathedral. The label has also released unique works that fit into no obvious genre at all. On November 14, 2017 ECM announced in a press release that its entire catalog would be made available for streaming on all major music streaming platforms. Previously, ECM recordings had never been available for streaming, save for a few select compilations of major performers. (Rondo DB)

Wikipedia ECM_Records
Country Germany
Started 1969
Official website