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Thread: Rest in peace, Jan Erik Kongshaug

  1. #1
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Rest in peace, Jan Erik Kongshaug

    The Norwegian sound engineer who recorded hundreds and hundreds of ECM titles and was probably more responsible for 'the ECM sound' in terms of recorded sonics than anyone, has died at the age of 75.

    What a great set of ears!
    Steve F.

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    RIP Indeed!

  3. #3
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Rest in peace. I love the ECM sound.
    Can this be the swan song? The final elbow?

  4. #4
    RIP
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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    The RVG of Oslo. Big loss.

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    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Some of the best sounding, intimate ensemble recordings out there for my money. An achievement to be proud of and which will live on. RIP.
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  7. #7
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Sad news.

    RIP
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  8. #8
    Wow...what a legend he was. I love the sound of those early ECM piano albums by Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Steve Kuhn etc. Apparently the piano and room were nothing special...just an amazing engineer knowing the equipment he had. I remember reading an interview with guitarist Dominic Miller about his fairly recent album Silent Light, where he said he was sat in a corner of the studio just rehearsing. Jan Erik just came up and set up the microphones literally where he'd plonked himself - no magic corner of the room or anything. Just a total genius sound engineer.

    Matt.

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    Very saddened by this piece of bad news. A great sound engineer.

  10. #10
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    sad.
    "And this is the chorus.....or perhaps it's a bridge...."

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    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. There was a very interesting interview with him on an audiophile site I found last year. I may have posted it to an ECM thread here?

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    Very sorry to hear this. What a legacy he left, though. I've never counted, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that the number of albums I own with his name on them is over 100. A giant in the field, and as much a part of the "ECM sound" as Manfred Eicher, IMO.
    David
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  13. #13
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    as much a part of the "ECM sound" as Manfred Eicher, IMO.
    Manfred supplied the musicians and the over-all vision, but Jan-Erik turned the vision into concrete recorded sound. VERY MUCH as much a part, imo. I completely agree.
    Steve F.

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  14. #14
    I have only to thank Mr. Kongshaug for so many moments of sheer joy and pleasure.

  15. #15
    It's his "classic" ECM sound ( and the cover art) that hooked me onto a lot of artists like Metheny, Weber, Corea, Abercrombie without knowing first that he was responsible for this sound. I saw that he was also a guitar player and recorded two records . Does anyone know them ?
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    It's his "classic" ECM sound ( and the cover art) that hooked me onto a lot of artists like Metheny, Weber, Corea, Abercrombie without knowing first that he was responsible for this sound. I saw that he was also a guitar player and recorded two records . Does anyone know them ?
    Not wishing to take anything away from the brilliant Jan Erik Kongshaug, he wasn't responsible for ALL of the ECM productions at the time - a good number of them (including Metheny's "Bright Size Life", most of the Eberhard Weber 1970s releases etc.) were recorded at ECM's other studio, in Ludwigsburg, by Martin Wieland. I don't know enough of ECM history to know if Wieland can be considered a disciple of Kongshaug, or if they were both geniuses in their own right, or if Manfred Eicher was the primary source for the label's concept of sound/recording and Kongshaug and Wieland merely brought it to life (which is enough to justify praise in any case).

    PS: As regards Kongshaug the musician, I only have "Night Sounds" (1978) by the Frode Thingnaes Quintet on which he plays bass, not guitar. Good, if somewhat generic, fusion.
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  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    I saw that he was also a guitar player and recorded two records . Does anyone know them ?
    THIS isn't one of them, but he's a part of it (notice the name of the band) and it's quite good!
    Steve F.

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Not wishing to take anything away from the brilliant Jan Erik Kongshaug, he wasn't responsible for ALL of the ECM productions at the time - a good number of them (including Metheny's "Bright Size Life", most of the Eberhard Weber 1970s releases etc.) were recorded at ECM's other studio, in Ludwigsburg, by Martin Wieland. I don't know enough of ECM history to know if Wieland can be considered a disciple of Kongshaug, or if they were both geniuses in their own right, or if Manfred Eicher was the primary source for the label's concept of sound/recording and Kongshaug and Wieland merely brought it to life (which is enough to justify praise in any case).

    PS: As regards Kongshaug the musician, I only have "Night Sounds" (1978) by the Frode Thingnaes Quintet on which he plays bass, not guitar. Good, if somewhat generic, fusion.
    It's my personal ECM sound , by chance most (and still favourite) of my first ECM records were recorded by Kongshaug
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  19. #19
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    It's my personal ECM sound , by chance most (and still favourite) of my first ECM records were recorded by Kongshaug
    Abercrombie : timeless
    I played Timeless on Monday because I just got a beautiful, vintage German lp pressing in perfect shape and it sounded so great, even on my exceedingly modest set up, that I looked at the credits.

    This was before I got news of his death, and it was not recorded by Jan-Erik; it was actually recorded in New York by Tony May at Generation Sound Studio and MIXED by Jan Erik.
    Steve F.

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    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  20. #20
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    "Timeless" is a great sounding disc. I'll chalk it up to the mixing.

  21. #21
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    Obit and an interview from John Kelman's trip to Norway in 2010.
    https://www.allaboutjazz.com/norwegi...erik-kongshaug

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Manfred supplied the musicians and the over-all vision, but Jan-Erik turned the vision into concrete recorded sound. VERY MUCH as much a part, imo. I completely agree.
    Manfred describes his relationship with engineers in cinematic terms: he, as the director who, like you say, has the overall vision and brings musicians (actors?), though he’d also a very active producer (director) as well; and the engineer as Director of Photography, i.e. the guy who knows how to technically realize the director’s vision and capture it to [insert medium here].

    So yeah, absolutely.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Not wishing to take anything away from the brilliant Jan Erik Kongshaug, he wasn't responsible for ALL of the ECM productions at the time - a good number of them (including Metheny's "Bright Size Life", most of the Eberhard Weber 1970s releases etc.) were recorded at ECM's other studio, in Ludwigsburg, by Martin Wieland. I don't know enough of ECM history to know if Wieland can be considered a disciple of Kongshaug, or if they were both geniuses in their own right, or if Manfred Eicher was the primary source for the label's concept of sound/recording and Kongshaug and Wieland merely brought it to life (which is enough to justify praise in any case).

    PS: As regards Kongshaug the musician, I only have "Night Sounds" (1978) by the Frode Thingnaes Quintet on which he plays bass, not guitar. Good, if somewhat generic, fusion.
    Both Kongshaug and Weiland were separate and equal engineers in their own right, just as other engineers with whom Manfred has (and continues to) work, like James Farber.

    Yes, Weiland was responsible for a engineering good number of classic ECM recordings, but with 700 recordings to his name, I think Jan Erik has to go down as the engineer involved in more ECM recordings than any other...
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    It's his "classic" ECM sound ( and the cover art) that hooked me onto a lot of artists like Metheny, Weber, Corea, Abercrombie without knowing first that he was responsible for this sound. I saw that he was also a guitar player and recorded two records . Does anyone know them ?
    I have the ACT label recording. Jan Erik, as a guitarist, was very much a down-the-centre straight-ahead, mainstream player, and a very good (if not particularly exceptional) one at that.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    "Timeless" is a great sounding disc. I'll chalk it up to the mixing.
    Well, the mix won’t be any good if what was documented to tape wasn’t. So credit where credit’s due, I think it is fair to credit May, Kongshaug and, of course, Eicher for the wonderful result on Timeless.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

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