The Overlooked FMP

Last week, we posted the Top 10 best-sellers from the FMP download store. All of them are terrific albums, but there are also a number of gems that we feel people have been sleeping on. Some of these records never received their due in their day and have since languished out of print for decades. Some may simply have been overlooked in the blitz of additions to the store.

Here are our Top 10 overlooked albums from the FMP store. All of them are ripe for (re)discovery. We vouch that each is worth your time – and your hard-earned dollars. Click on the covers to be taken to each album’s store page, for info and steaming, streaming tracks of goodness.

 

DREAMING OF THE MASTERS

  
FMP is best known for showcasing the best European improvisers, but they’ve also recorded a few key records from American jazz masters. Bill Dixon’s Berlin Abbozzi and Cecil Taylor’s Feel Trio (featuring William Parker and Tony Oxley) Celebrated Blazons are both career highlights.

 

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE

  

These duo records offer intimate musical portraits of recently departed musicians. Superstars lets Willem Breuker stretch out and showcase his stylistic juxtapositions at their most immediate. Erdmännchen is a strange and sweet guitar duo featuring the under-heralded Hans Reichel.

 

TESTAMENT X 2

  

These two massive double albums are career capstones. They crystallize a lifetime of musical mastery in their grooves. The Complete Duos finds bassist Peter Kowald traveling around the globe to partner with luminaries including Diamanda Galas, Derek Bailey, Tom Cora, and Julius Hemphill. Berlin Skyscraper is the zenith (to date) of Butch Morris’s revolutionary conduction technique – a 22nd Century Big Band record!

 

SCRATCHING THAT ORNETTE ITCH

  

Some of the odder-looking titles in the FMP catalog nevertheless deliver some of the most traditional beauty, as this East German combo turns in Ornette-like tunes that combine melodic inventiveness, charming harmonies, and some of that old-time, Old World skronk.

 

JAZZ/NOT JAZZ

  

Feeling like you’re about to O.D. on jazz? These two exceptional records are closer to vintage Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, or something released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label. Think electronic ambiance, cosmic drift, Morricone sweep, and psychedelic minimalism. Think unclassifiable.

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