It often was over used as a meaningful term of praise eventually rendered a little bit less effective. “Ethereal” these days has gone the other way into the sidings and you hardly ever hear the word batted about in terms of describing contemporary jazz. Maybe the nature of the music itself has changed at least in current trends.
The lightness of touch, delicacy in delivery and above all spatial sense that may or may not harness chamber jazz that the description stands for is a rare quality nonetheless. Live album Out of Land (ACT Records ****) has it and an additional intertwining grasp of timbral contrasts and involving atmosphere however in quantity. Recorded in Swiss jazz club Bee-flat experimental vocalist Andreas Schaerer, Kraftwerk-loving pianist Michael Wollny, accordionist Vincent Peirani (a Richard Galliano for Generation Y) and freewheeling modernist saxophonist Emile Parisien deliver something quite exquisite, uniquely genre-less, elastic, and borderless identifiably powered by an expansive musical vocabulary. Just released