Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Azimuth - The Touchstone (1978)

Hope you're getting a chance to relax and reflect this week - I am for once; I'm usually at work this week and always wishing I'd just taken the days off.  Managed to think ahead this year, so here's some more Azimuth, this time even more mellifluous and ambient than usual.

Recorded a year and half prior to Départ, The Touchstone ticks all the Azimuth boxes.  It starts with an organ drone (this is where John Taylor started adding the instrument to the Azimuth palette) and Kenny Wheeler's melancholy trumpet smears, before giving way to those circular piano figures and Norma Winstone's soaring voice.

Things then pretty much carry on like that, with one exception - this is the sole Azimuth album (at least out of the original trilogy; my memory's slightly hazy on the '85 and '95 reunions) where Winstone doesn't sing any lyrics at all, but just fills each track with wordless, heavenly vocalising.  This is Azimuth at their most supremely chilled - enjoy.



  1. Lovely, thankyou. Perfect for midwinter.
    Peace. :)

  2. Looking forward to hearing this. Thankyou! Hope you enjoy your downtime this week.

  3. Very cool, thanks! I remember a while back you recommended their first LP, and it's been one I've gone back to a bunch.

    I've got a live Azimuth session I keep meaning to post on my blog, if you want I can drop you a line when I do

  4. awesome, sounds interesting. think I've heard one live Azimuth session - poss from 80s or even 90s. they really were something special, even in the vastness of ECM.

  5. First ECM date I heard in full IIRC. Glorious unity of sonics and visuals. I think Eicher must have started losing his sight in the 90s, possibly due to his head's gradual submerging in his own bumhole.