Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin | Live | ECM 2302/03

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin | Live | ECM 2302/03
ECM 2302/03September 2012

Nik Bärtsch: piano, Fender Rhodes
Sha: bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone
Björn Mayer: bass
Thomy Jordi: bass (Modul 55)
Kaspar Rast: drums
Andi Pupato: percussion

Ronin around the world: a powerful and atmospheric concert recording with music captured in Germany, Austria, Holland, England, and Japan, a double-album which transmits the live impact of Nik Bärtsch’s band and its enveloping modular groove music of interlocking rhythms. It’s also a set that marks the end of an era and the transition into a new one. These are the last recordings of Ronin with Björn Meyer’s elegantly-leaping bass guitar as one of the lead voices, and Bärtsch views the album as partly a tribute to Meyer’s long tenure with the band. New bassist Thomy Jordi, meanwhile, makes an impressive entrance on “Modul 55”, but it’s most often the whole band, as a unified field of force, that commands the listener’s attention.