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Stories Yet To Tell CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B003M8DV5I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Stories yet to Tell
Digital Booklet: Stories yet to Tell
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Product Description

Product Description

Following the Grammy-nominated 'Distances' comes the eagerly awaited second ECM album from the British-German-Italian trio fronted by singer Norma Winstone, with pianist Glauco Venier and reedsman Klaus Gesing. Alongside their own pieces, the musicians play songs from Mexico's Armando Manzanero to Armenia's Komitas, to Wayne Shorter. Textures, colours and rhythms are drawn from scattered, surprising sources.

Winstone, Venier and Gesing are three adventurous musicians united, in this project, by a profound feeling for song. The stark instrumentation - voice, piano, bass clarinet/soprano sax - encourages the players to explore widely, and to make creative use of the available space. Glauco Venier and Klaus Gesing invited Norma, long-established as Britain's most distinctive jazz singer, to join them for Italian concerts a decade ago and she soon recognized a potential for developing a trio music with its own specific character, now documented on three outstanding recordings: 'Chamber Music' (released 2004), 'Distances' (ECM, 2008), and the present disc, produced by Manfred Eicher in Udine in 2009.

As with its predecessors, 'Stories Yet To Tell' reveals Venier and Gesing as gifted composers and distinctive instrumentalists. Venier's choice of notes and his harmonizations are strikingly original, and Gesing has established his own methodology for bass clarinet in particular, vaulting between rhythm and melody functions, and matching textures and phrases with Winstone's subtle voice. From the beginning of her life in jazz, Norma Winstone, who first recorded for ECM in 1977 as a member of the Azimuth trio with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler, has wanted to be part of the ensemble, rather than a frontwoman. She uses her voice 'instrumentally', to interweave improvised lines with her partners and participate in the blossoming harmony.

Personnel: Norma Winstone (voice), Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone), Glauco Venier (piano)

BBC Review

A grande dame of British jazz, Norma Winstone MBE may be approaching her 70th birthday but the east London-born vocalist shows no signs of fading into well-earned retirement just yet. Indeed, the former Azimuth figurehead and veteran collaborator with everyone from pianists John Taylor and Mike Westbrook to Ian Carr and Kenny Wheeler, has made some of the best received albums of her lengthy career during the last decade; not least 2008’s Distances, which garnered a Grammy nomination and a clutch of European jazz awards.

Reuniting with her collaborators on that album, reeds player Klaus Gesing and pianist Glauco Venier, Stories Yet to Tell, like its predecessor, proffers an eclectic miscellany of material. Included this time are standards, mediaeval music, an Armenian lullaby, a Wayne Shorter number and several improvisations based on texts by Winstone herself, all of it moulded into a homogenous whole by Gesing’s subtly interwoven woodwind and soprano sax, Venier’s warm, embracing keyboard harmonisations and Winstone’s highly nuanced, expertly modulated vocalising. As ever with ECM, the production, by label founder Manfred Eicher, is a rich, enveloping delight, somehow lending equally acute detail to both Winstone’s aerated upper range tonalities and the woody sonorities of Gesing’s bass clarinet.

Despite the disparate provenance of the songs, the album unfurls seamlessly, like episodes from the same narrative, the ‘meaning’ deducible as much from the tone and timbre of Winstone’s wordless improvisational flights as from the lyrics. Thus, Among the Clouds takes wing on wafting unison phrases between voice and woodwind while Winstone adds her own lyrics to the Armenian Cradle Song’s gentle swaying. The 13th century troubadour song En Mort d’En Joan de Cucanh, meanwhile, fuses the worlds of numinous sacred music and meditative jazz with an alacrity which fans of Jan Garbarek’s collaborations with the Hilliard Ensemble should relish.

Wistful, ethereal and subtle music-making like this will be too soothing, even soporific, for some. But while Stories Yet to Tell is unlikely to win many new converts, those already seduced by Norma Winstone’s drowsily compelling voice – and by the dreamy allure of Distances in particular – will find plenty to luxuriate in here.

--David Sheppard

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This follow up to the excellent "Distances" ploughs a similar vein although not quite to the same effect. As before, the predominant mood is suitably autumnal and the theme of the passing of time is only emphasised by a number of songs concerning gods including the self-explanatory "Goddess" and "Sisyphus" (the king compelled for eternity to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down) while "Carnera" is named after the man mountain Italian boxer nicknamed the "Ambling alp" and about whom Winstone sings "lonely the path he treads".

Like its predecessor, "Stories Yet to Tell" plays its finest card first with "just Sometimes" a song of rare beauty and the finest example of Winstone's voice which, although rich, does not dominate the accompaniment, preferring to impress through a sympathy for the material and versatility of tone. Although the musicianship is nothing left than first rate, about half way through the album rather loses momentum. While there is nothing so vulgar as a bad track songs like "The Titles" (about a certain absence upon the conclusion of the credits at the cinema) are attractive on their own terms, collectively they do not demand as much interest as the songs which opened the album which concludes with the rather insubstantial "En Mort d'En Joan de Cucanh".

Had the quality of the first five songs been maintained, this would have merited a 4.5. As it is it receives a slightly miserly 3.5 but is still, nonetheless, recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
"Stories yet To Tell" is one of those special albums that is capable of touching the soul. Norma Winstone's voice, backed only by sensitive accompaniment on piano and reeds, is haunting and beautiful in equal measure. Covering a range of meditative, lyrical songs that contain elements of magic, reflection and yearning, the collection works perfectly together and is a spellbinding listen. Sometimes, when sound like this is pared down to just a trio setting, the material can become laboured and a little dull, but that's not the case here. Even though the mood is never anything less than dreamily slow, it doesn't feel like hard work to listen to around 53 minutes in this vein. Uptempo it isn't - and that would indeed spoil the mood and atmosphere - but as a song cycle it works beautifully.

The CD contains some of the most beautiful music you'll hear this year. Great lyrics, sensitively presented, and virtuoso performances from all concerned, this is a masterpiece from ECM.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
really enjoyed the album - arrived promptly - well packed - as described - will look out for more from this artist
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x912c3edc) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e800f0) out of 5 stars MUSICA PARA DISFRUTAR 17 Oct. 2010
By Manuel Grosso Galvan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Norma Wistone ha llegado a un punto de madurez incuestionable. Es musica para disfrutarla en tranquilidad. Para escucharla tranquilamente, sin prisas. Solo por escucharla cantando el tema de Armando Manzanero merece a pena comprar el disco.¿Jazz, clasica, sonido ECM...? No lo se, es simplemente magnifico.Muy recomendable para aquellos que no se dejen llevar por las etiquetas ni por un falso intelectualismo.Es belleza en el mas simple sentido de la palabra.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910e0a8c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 14 Dec. 2014
By Grebbx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is what happens when when 3 geniuses merge & converge.
HASH(0x9102e750) out of 5 stars Norma Winstone 11 Sept. 2013
By Robert Rucker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listen to a lot of jazz and American Song Book singers. For some reason, Norma Winstone was not on my list. I am pleased that this introduction was made - she is a singer that I now appreciate others emulate.
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A life changing CD for me - Norma Winstone is an impeccable story teller.
HASH(0x910a4c90) out of 5 stars Excellent 28 Jan. 2015
By Jim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent
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