Playing a key role in broadening the audience of American musicians like Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny and European ones such as Jan Garbarek and Eberhard Weber, producer Manfred Eicher’s storied Munich-based ECM label has been at the forefront of contemporary jazz since it was launched in 1969. After being faithful to the CD format for several decades, the label has announced that it is launching a new audiophile vinyl reissue series under the banner Luminessence. The series aims to shine a light on some of the buried treasures in the label’s extensive archives and will present them as all-analogue-mastered 33 1⁄3 rpm LPs housed in high-quality gatefold jackets. 

The first two albums in the series are out now: they are Brazilian percussion virtuoso Naná Vasconcelos’ 1979 LP Saudades, featuring gorgeous string arrangements by his countryman, guitarist Egberto Gismonti, and Canadian flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler’s 1975 offering Gnu High. The latter includes a rare sideman appearance by pianist Keith Jarrett, who contributes alongside fellow Miles Davis band alumni, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette. 

In July, two more titles are scheduled for release: vibraphonist Gary Burton’s 1973 fusion offering The New Quartet and the eponymous 1979 album by the avant-garde supergroup, Old And New Dreams, comprising four former members of jazz revolutionary Ornette Coleman’s bands: trumpeter Don Cherry, saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell.  

Looking further into the future, ECM also plans to release Keith Jarrett’s 3-LP solo piano recital from 1973 called Bremen Lausanne on vinyl along with 1975’s Luminessence, an orchestral collaboration between the pianist and saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Garbarek’s Afric Pepperbird album and Zakir Hussain’s Making Music are also set to appear in the Luminessence series.  

Naná Vasconcelos’ Saudades and Kenny Wheeler’s Gnu High are out now on ECM Records