Stoa (album)

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Stoa (album).jpg
Studio album by Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
Released 2006
Recorded May 2005
Studio Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-Fontaines
Genre Jazz
Length 57:13
Label ECM
Producer Manfred Eicher
Nik Bärtsch chronology

Stoa is an album by Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch's band Ronin that was recorded in France in 2005 and released by ECM Records.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

The Allmusic review by Thom Jurek states, "ECM has raised the bar once more by recording and releasing a truly compelling, curious, maddening, and provocative Edition of Creative Musicians with Stoa. Ronin is a band of the future, one that has nowhere to go but out into the sonic stratosphere. Judging by this set, it will be exciting to witness where they go from here."[1]

On All About Jazz Budd Kopmann stated "With no melodies and virtually no harmony, but with plenty of constantly internally clashing rhythm, this music's motivic development pushes you one moment and pulls the next. Whether or not you would call it jazz, its kaleidoscopic nature and simple complexity is riveting. Fabulous."[2]

On the same site John Kelman noted "Stoa is an important album that stands to expand the way we look at the junctures between repetitive motifs, insistent rhythms and form-based improvisation."[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Global Rhythm 5/5 stars[4]

Global Rhythm magazine's podcast producer, host, and contributing writer wrote, "Global grooves, mercurial melodies, plucky polyrhythms and hypnotic happenings abound on this impressive release by Swiss jazz and neo-classical pianist/composer Nik Bärtsch. 'Zen Funk' is how Bärtsch describes his oftentimes Eastern-influenced music, and indeed, the various tracks, simply entitled 'Modul 36' or 'Modul 33,' are metaphysical musical koans of sorts. He is joined by his remarkable band, Ronin: drummer Kaspar Rast, 6-string bassist Björn Meyer, percussionist Andi Pupato, and reedsman, Sha. Imagine an aural geometrical kaleidoscope upon which multiple layers synchronously rotate and morph in a subtle, albeit complex dance. James Brown jamming with Steve Reich, perhaps? Throughout, Meyer and Rast comprise the unerring gyroscopic motor driving Bärtsch's tightly knit compositions, providing Bärtsch and company interspersed space in which to amble. Bärtsch's piano is the axle, as he double-handedly plays contrasting, interlocking patterns in real time, often punctuated by Sha's woodwinds (bass clarinet and tenor saxophone) accents. Repeated listen reveals more depth and complexity with each go around. Very well done!"[4]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Nik Bärtsch

  1. "Modul 36" - 15:17
  2. "Modul 35" - 9:11
  3. "Modul 32" - 9:32
  4. "Modul 33" - 10:42
  5. "Modul 38_17" - 12:30



  1. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Stoa". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Kopman, Bud (26 April 2006). "Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Stoa". All About Jazz. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  3. ^ Kelman, John (29 April 2006). "Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Stoa". All About Jazz. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Kaye, Robert (16 March 2007). "Europe Nik Bärtsch's Ronin World Music at Global Rhythm". Retrieved 21 September 2017.