Both Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen are well-known figures in contemporary jazz and improvisation. Ballamy, who came to international attention in the 1980s as a member of the Loose Tubes collective and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, continues to play with Django Bates in configurations including the group Human Chain. He has also worked with an extraordinarily wide range of bands and projects – from Hermeto Pascoal, Gil Evans and Mike Gibbs to Charlie Watts, the Karnataka College of Percussion and Billy Jenkins-, led his own ensembles, written music for films, and taught at London’s Royal Academy and Trinity College. Food’s first recordings – “Food” and “Organic and GM Food” - were released on Ballamy’s own label, Feral Records.
Last year Food – Strønen/Ballamy plus Arve Henriksen – appeared with the London Sinfonietta, premiering a new work by Iain Ballamy, “Gold Acre.”
The work was commissioned by BBC Radio 3, who had previously presented Food with the Innovation Award in the wider context of the British Jazz Awards.
Nils Petter Molvær came to ECM with Arild Andersen’s band Masqualero, appearing on three albums for the label, “Bande à Part”, “Aero”, and “Re-Enter”. He can also be heard on recordings with Robyn Schulkowsky (“Hastening Westward), Marilyn Mazur (“Small Labyrinths”), Sidsel Endrsen (“So I Write”, “Exile”) and Jon Balke/Oslo 13 (“Nonsentration”). Molvær’s “Khmer” and “Solid Ether” albums with their striking mix of electric trumpet (with echoes of both Miles Davis and Jon Hassell) electronics and hiphop beats launched the still-influential ‘nu jazz’ movement. “Quiet Inlet” marks Nils Petter’s first ECM appearance since Arild Andersen’s “Electra” (recorded 2003/4).
Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz came out of the Vienna techno scene of the 1980s to spread his layers of electric guitar and processing textures across a broad span of music. Amongst his many musical associations: work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian (he is prominently featured on Sylvian’s recent “Manafon” album), and free improvising guitarist Keith Rowe... Albums issued under Fennesz’s name include a series of critically-acclaimed recordings for the Touch label.