Friday, 19 February 2016

Katrina Krimsky / Trevor Watts ‎– Stella Malu (1981)

ECM obscurity for crisp, blustery mornings. Just sparkling, echo-laden piano courtesy of Kristina Krimsky, a classically-trained pianist with links to Terry Riley, and English saxophonist Trevor Watts.  The latter's playing here is very much in the vein of another ECM Englishman, John Surman, especially in Watts' brief solo turn 'Rhythm Circle'.

The occasional knottier flourish aside, this is a mostly tasteful, elegaic programme, with Krimsky sometimes bringing to mind Harold Budd if he played more notes.  The gorgeous highlight 'Crystal Morning' is a perfectly self-descriptive case in point.  I'm actually drafting this writeup on a Saturday morning with a light dusting of last night's snow gradually melting in the cemetery across the road, and went straight to this album as a result when I got up.  But I'll wind up now before trying anything too fancy and image-descriptive, and leave that sort of stuff  to the master.  Tyran Grillo, as mentioned previously, can not only totally nail the essence of any ECM record, but deserves eternal kudos for making such a major project out of doing so several hundred times to date.

Stella Malu


  1. Thanks for putting this up. Had never heard of it - one wonders how many other unheard treasures there are in the ECM back catalogue. I've always found ECM Records immensely reassuring - a real area of quality and beauty in our troubled world.

    Am enjoying your blog.

    1. Thanks Chris. The more I get into 80s ECM, the more I reckon that was actually its most experimental decade - just in terms of throwing together random groups of musicians for sometimes one-off sessions, out of which you almost always got pure gold.

    2. Thanks Alan, I had forgotten about this one. what a pleasant surprise finding your blog this morning along with the snow. Everything on ECM from 1989 back is worth having. For me 1990 marked a change in ECM and the world in general.