E.C.F.A. and "Die Faden" are not for the faint of heart. Fans of easy listening jazz or big band jazz with pronounced melodies, harmonies and forms will not find them here. Unless you are a die hard fan of free jazz, the wild and free improvisation takes getting used to and will need time to grow on you. The improvisation of Carl Smith (tenor saxophone) reminds me a lot of the first time I heard the avante garde solos of John Coltrane. The inter-play between Smith and violinist James Alexander, while at first glance may seem awkward works very well. Friedrich's drum compliments Smith and Alexander very well. He does a fine job of playing out of time and filling in the blanks.
E.C.F.A. stands for emanation, creation, formation and action. Carl Smith came across these words with a friend who is a Yoruba priest. In his words (Smith's), "They just seemed right somehow." He also found reference to emanation, creation, formation and action as different levels of existence in the kabbalah.
Overall, this is a pretty cool CD that will challenge your thinking of what "jazz" is or isn't.