Home New Wigmore Hall ECM Series: Fusion of Electronica and Jazz Trumpet-Piano Duo

Wigmore Hall ECM Series: Fusion of Electronica and Jazz Trumpet-Piano Duo

by Madonna

In a captivating blend of free-form electronica and the resonant sonics of a trumpet-piano duo, Wigmore Hall launched its ECM Series with a night of innovative performances. The concert showcased original compositions and reimagined covers, both embodying the textural subtleties, narrative twists, and subdued rhythms characteristic of the renowned ECM label.

The ECM Series took flight with a trio comprising drummer Michele Rabbia, guitarist Eivind Aarset, and trombonist Gianluca Petrella, brought together by ECM label boss Manfred Eicher. Their 2019 album, “Lost River,” laid the foundation for the first half of the evening, blending Petrella’s warm trombone tones with Aarset’s ethereal guitar atmospherics. Freely improvised sonics marked the set, with Aarset’s synthesized guitar and Petrella’s melancholic trombone setting the stage. The trio’s dialogue unfolded with sampled trombone breath, a joyride of guitar picking, and electronically doctored free-jazz abstractions. The mesmerizing “What Floats Beneath” showcased their cinematic prowess, building to a crescendo before fading to a whisper.

The second half featured trumpeter Avishai Cohen and pianist Yonathan Avishai, celebrating 35 years of musical collaboration. Drawing from their 2019 duo album, “Playing the Room,” the duo explored an intimate musical landscape. Classics like Alexander Argov’s “Shir Eres” and Duke Ellington’s “Azalea” graced the set, alongside new covers. The opener, “April in Paris,” received a transformative interpretation, followed by a subtly ghosted rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage.” Lee Morgan’s “Yama” emerged from an impromptu performance of “Fever,” and the set concluded with the emotional depth of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” introduced by a single offbeat piano note.

Cohen’s advanced trumpet technique complemented Avishai’s stripped-down piano accompaniment, infusing the set with high-note trills and dazzling runs while maintaining its overall mood. The performance showcased a nuanced fusion of styles, from introspective moments to the lively cadence of a country dance, making the entire set engaging and memorable for the audience. The ECM Series at Wigmore Hall proved to be a celebration of musical diversity, uniting genres under the emblematic ECM label’s influence.

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