Universal Music Australia has announced that it will be distributing the famed ECM (Edition Of Contemporary Music) label in Australia, starting today.

Founded by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969, the award-winning label has issued over 1,500 jazz, classical and world music albums.

After establishing itself as a key player with recordings from the likes of Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley and Jan Garbarek, ECM began to expand in the late '70s.

By 1984, the ECM New Series branch was established and produced recordings of Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk and György Kurtág, among other contemporary and classical composers. 

"Australian listeners have long been open to ECM's music, and the press has been supportive, too, whenever our artists have visited," Eicher said.

"In recent years, however, the albums have been harder to find in the stores. We are glad that the new distribution arrangement with Universal will make the music more readily available."

President and CEO of Global Classics at Universal Music, Dickon Stainer, added, "The distribution of ECM records in Australia is an important step in furthering the famed German record label's already highly respected reputation in the southern hemisphere."

Some ECM releases distributed through Universal Music today include Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan's Small Town and Avishai Cohen's Cross My Palm With Silver.