In this final "Jazz Legacies" conversation of the year, Gary Giddins speaks with producer Manfred Eicher about his label's impressive four-decade run at the forefront of jazz.
Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records in 1969, going on to produce standard-setting recordings by artists such as Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny. To date, ECM, with Eicher consistently at the helm, has issued over a thousand albums.
Manfred Eicher (born July 9, 1943 in Lindau, Germany) is a German record producer and the founder of the ECM record label and its subsidiaries.
Eicher studied music at the Academy of Music in Berlin. He is a fan of jazz music and a bass guitar player. In 1969 he founded a new record label in Munich called ECM - Edition of Contemporary Music. Some of the famous artists he has recorded over the last 30 years are Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette, Anouar Brahem, Dave Holland, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, Terje Rypdal, Steve Kuhn, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Gary Giddins is a jazz critic, author, and director, best known for his longtime work with The Village Voice. Giddins has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, and the Bell Atlantic Award for Visions of Jazz: The First Century in 1998. His other books include Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams—The Early Years, 1903–1940, which won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research; Weatherbird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century; Faces in the Crowd; Natural Selection; and biographies of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. He has won an unparalleled six ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Peabody Award in Broadcasting.