Among the top new albums just announced for the autumn Dance of the Elders from Wolfgang Muthspiel certainly stands tall on paper at this vantage point - the Austrian guitar master in trio formation with distinguished bassist Scott Colley and Colley's fellow American drummer Brian Blade whose own 2023 album Kings Highway with his band the Fellowship tops our new album selections for the year to date.
Out on 29 September this ECM release follows on from 2020's excellent Angular Blues. The new album was recorded after touring in Europe, the US and Japan last year at La Buissonne in France and includes studio improvisation, a take on Bach chorale 'O Sacred Head, Now Wounded' (which inspired Paul Simon's 'American Tune'), Muthspiel original 'Cantus Bradus,' Kurt Weill’s 'Liebeslied' a classic that Muthspiel and fellow guitarist the late Mick Goodrick covered on 2010's Live at the Jazz Standard, Joni Mitchell Hejira evergreen 'Amelia' and 'Folk Song' - a Muthspiel piece inspired by Keith Jarrett. Muthspiel says of the last of these: “I had a vague idea of Keith’s music when coming up with this one, especially his vamp improvisations from the Belonging-era. You can always tell how harmonically inventive someone is when they play around one chord for a long stretch. Everything Keith implies with his upper lines, his middle voices, shows you all the chords he could play but then only teases at. I love that about Keith.”
- Read a 2014 interview with Wolfgang Muthspiel here