Stories Yet To Tell Norma Winstone

Cover Stories Yet To Tell

Album info



Label: ECM

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Contemporary Jazz

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Just Sometimes06:10
  • 2Sisyphus05:06
  • 3Cradle Song (Hoy Nazan)04:34
  • 4Like A Lover04:11
  • 5Rush04:48
  • 6The Titles04:01
  • 7Carnera04:11
  • 8Lipe Rosize04:57
  • 9Among The Clouds03:32
  • 10Ballo Furlano03:18
  • 11Goddess05:09
  • 12En mort d'En Joan de Cucanh02:16
  • Total Runtime52:13

Info for Stories Yet To Tell

While walking home on 8 October 2014, I was listening to Norma Winstone’s Stories Yet To Tell on my iPod. The opening song, “Just Sometimes,” had already enchanted me with its tender traversal of the heart’s shadowed chambers. Its bittersweet emotions lingered on in my mind as the second track, “Sisyphus,” held my ears captive. Named for the Corinthian king of Greek mythology forced to endlessly roll a giant boulder up a hill, the song evokes the curse of repetition in Glauco Venier’s pianism and the vain hope of breaking free in the tension of Klaus Gesing’s bass clarinet. While immersed in the atmosphere of this music, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I pressed PAUSE, removed my headphones, and turned to see my friend Andy, who had terrible news: our dear mutual friend Taylan had committed suicide that morning.

In the weeks following this tragedy, my iPod remained stuck halfway through “Sisyphus,” stymied like my desire for listening. By the time I returned to the song, I couldn’t help read the myth into Taylan’s untimely end. His life, it seemed, had thrown one boulder too many in his path, and he’d grown tired of rolling them upward in vain. While learning to cope with my grief, I was also comforted by the album’s title. It was a gentle reminder that, although he was gone, stories of Taylan’s legacy as a musician (he was an electronics genius for whom Evan Parker’s The Eleventh Hour was a life-changing record) had yet to be told. It was only a month later that I had the courage to continue where I’d left off in “Sisyphus,” which will forever be for me an elegy.

It’s not entirely morbid, however, to read a certain understanding of mortality into Winstone’s craft, singing as she so often does of moments that are fleeting, captured only through imagination. In the sadness of “Among The Clouds,” the retrograde of “Goddess,” and the wordless farewell of “En mort d’En Joan de Cucanh,” Winstone and her attuned trio understand that directions below are written in scripts above. Each song searches for meaning in a world that so often denies the divinity of simplicity. Furthermore, Winstone’s lyrics, especially in “Rush” and “The Titles,” linger on impermanence and, like the second, break down the theatrical stage of experience into its component parts.

In a few tracks, Winstone uses her voice as wordless instrument, employing melodic flight paths in the service of folk songs and lullabies. And even when she does inhabit the domicile of language, as in the tender “Like A Lover,” she does so with an insightful balance of coarse action and empty heroism, all the while keeping fear at bay with the shapes of her mouthing. She demonstrates that those of us still living must recognize that death is not an end but the first sentence in a story waiting for the spark of remembrance to reveal its narrative arc.

"To illuminate and colour such a range of material, yet preserve its essential character and remain so emphatically themselves, is remarkable. The trio is a blend of personalities that, at its best, evokes a myriad of emotions and responses with the utmost economy of means. It’s subtle, simple, sophisticated and beautiful." (Irish Times)

"Armando Manzanero's lost-love ballad Just Sometimes is magical, with Klaus Gesing's bass clarinet and Glauco Venier's piano gliding around Winstone as if comforting her. Dori Caymmi's Like a Lover is a sublime reflection, and Manfred Eicher's production superbly captures Winstone's upper-range purity and the sonorities of reeds and keys on Gesing's gliding Sisyphus." (Guardian)

Norma Winstone, voice
Klaus Gesing, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone
Glauco Venier, piano

Recorded December 2009 at Arte Suono Studio, Udine
Engineered by Stefano Amerio
Produced by Manfred Eicher

Norma Winstone
long-established as Britain’s most distinctive jazz singer, came to ECM in 1977 as a member of the Azimuth trio with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler, recording five albums for the label with this formation: “Azimuth”, “The Touchstone”, “Départ”, “Azimuth ‘85” and “How it was then...never again” (the first three of these were reissued as a box set in 1994). She also appears on Kenny Wheeler’s “Music For Large And Small Ensembles” (1990), Eberhard Weber’s “Fluid Rustle” (1979) and on her own “Somewhere Called Home” (1986), accompanied by John Taylor and Tony Coe. Glauco Venier graduated in organ and composition from the Udine Conservatory in 1985, then took private lessons with Franco d’Andrea before heading to Boston’s Berklee School. He has led his own bands since 1990 and played with a wide cross section of Italian and international musicians including Enrico Rava, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Joey Baron, Paolo Fresu and dozens more.

Winstone / Gesing / Venier
Her current group is a trio featuring Italian pianist Glauco Venier and German saxophonist/ bass clarinetist Klaus Gesing.

The trio was formed around twelve years ago when Glauco and Klaus, who were playing as a duo at the time, asked Norma to guest with them at a concert near Udine, in Northern Italy, Glauco’s home town. A rapport between the three was immediately apparent. She realised that this was a group that had a very original sound which she wanted to develop. They made their first recording ‘Chamber Music‘, released by Universal, Austria, at the Artesuono Recording Studios in Udine in 2002. This is where they subsequently recorded their ECM album ‘Distances‘, which was given a four and a half star review in Downbeat Magazine, had wonderful reviews in the German and English press.

Booklet for Stories Yet To Tell

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