Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Legend of the Seven Dreams
Genres: Jazz, Pop
There's mystery and looming drama throughout this 1988 recording, as Garbarek combines his saxophones and flute with his highly developed studio art. There's a piquancy to the long opening track, with Garbarek's lilting so... more »
Listen to Samples
There's mystery and looming drama throughout this 1988 recording, as Garbarek combines his saxophones and flute with his highly developed studio art. There's a piquancy to the long opening track, with Garbarek's lilting soprano first paraphrasing a traditional Lapp song before developing darker, minor hues. Strong echoes of the Middle East arise in the drones and percussion and the cry of Garbarek's saxophones on "Achirai" and "Brother Wind." "Voy Cantando" has hints of Garbarek's powerful jazz voice, momentarily exploding into the softer textures that predominate here. On the longer tracks, the saxophonist is joined by regular associates Eberhard Weber on bass, Nana Vasconcelos on percussion, and Rainer Brüninghaus on keyboards, while he goes it alone for a few brief atmospheric pieces. "Its Name Is Secret Road" is all flute with some arresting electronic alterations, while his soprano is the principal instrument on the "Mirror Stone" pieces, his plaintive oboelike sound seeming to echo across the fjords. --Stuart Broomer
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Eicher's Chosen Music
Gordon Danis | Eastchester, New York United States | 01/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have no quibble with the prior writer and his praise for most of the musical efforts supervised and produced by Manfred Eicher. There may be a certain sameness where the efforts of ECM regulars like Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, and Eberhard Weber are concerned, but at least you know what you are getting. Usually you will be spinning genuinely gorgeous music as much (or more) for the head than the heart, steeped in echo, often dealing with Nordic themes and myths.For a bit of a change, try the two CDs (the latter a double) of Jan Garbarek playing with the Hilliard Ensemble, "Officium" and "Mnemosyne." For something completely diferent but still within the ECM ambit, try any of the three "Codona" CDs or the wonderful Mark Isham/Art Lande duet "We Begin." While some ECM CDs are a tad samey and sterile, the aforementioned records contain what I consider the strengths of ECM: the ability (and choice) to record often unclassifiable music, from civilizations which we only WISH existed, recorded in a close miked, echo laden manner that puts the listener right in the center of the soundstage, particularly with headphones.No label can get EVERYTHING right over some 30 years of steady releases, but more often than not the ECM label has been a harbinger of quality and the unexpected. But please wait...I would be painfully remiss if I failed to mention the truly singular masterpieces of ECM stalwart and world music visionary Stephan Micus before I take leave this Saturday morning....safe journey space fans......"
One of the five greatest jazz records ever recorded . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . featuring one of the three greatest jazz tunes ever put to disc, "He Comes from the North" (the other two being, in my humble opinion, "Uncovered Heart" by Kenny Werner, acquiring special pathos on his latest disc, Lawn Chair Society, due to the death of his daughter, Katheryn, for whom the song was written some twenty years ago at her birth and first recorded on an album of that same name, and "Palhaco," by Egberto Gismonti on that altogether mesmeric disc, Magico).
What they all have in common is a profound folk ethos seamlessly melded to deeply delved, heartfelt jazz. Not suprisingly, Jan Garbarek plays on two out of the three: "He Comes from the North" and "Palhaco," the latter featuring Charlie Haden and the great Egberto Gismonti.
What makes this disc altogether remarkable is that it marks a change in Garbarek's conception that has characterized his music for the past two decades: a shift to soprano saxophone as his main ax, and a commitment to--and one struggles for the proper terminology--"folk jazz." Accompanying these two moves are also a kind of stripped-down approach, almost jazz minimalism, and the deployment of a soprano sax concept that is entirely unique as well as being perhaps the most fully realized approach (save, perhaps, that of Steve Lacy) since John Coltrane revived its popularity, especially with his great disc, My Favorite Things.
If the rest of the disc doesn't quite live up to the gloriousness of "He Comes from the North," that's entirely to be expected. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? But sly pleasure leaks from the bits of all the tunes: a kind of proleptic Manu Katche percussiveness, "Aichuri, The Song Man"; way deep mystery, "Tongue of Secrets"; keening sax bravura mapped onto ur-folk/jazz, "Brother Wind"; a strange, tugging urgency, featuring the inimitable Eberhard Weber, "Send Word"; deep religiosity expressing impossibly longing, "Voy Cantando"; and Tolkienesque "euchatastrophy," "Mirror Stone I and II."
If you want to find where Garbarek first displayed his full-blown mysterioso mojo working at full bore, look no further than this entirely remarkable disc. Absolutely not to be missed by Garbarek fans, and a worthy entry-point for curious seekers."
Three Above-Average Songs; The Rest Typical Garbarek Dross
Gustave O. Frey | Oracle, AZ | 05/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My overall opinion of Jan Garbarek is that his individual talents as a composer are very limited, though when he makes contact with the ball, it usually goes over the fence for a homerun. He's no Hank Aaron, however. Most of his stuff should not have been recorded because the compositions are so lame. Ditto for Rypdal, DeJohnette and a host of other jazz musicians, including Keith Jarrett. So, I find myself scouring through a bunch of junk (I don't care what other people say) for the few songs that are...well great. So the effort is worthwhile.
With Garbarek, you have to be careful because the first 30 seconds you sample on Amazon could be the best or the worst 30 seconds of the song.
On this release, "Aichuri" is good because he plays the soprano sax off of a hyper-rhythm taken from Indian music. The melody is adequate enough because the song becomes more about the interplay between the sax, guitar and percussion and there are some very nice touches. No home run, but a solid double. "Brother Wind" is also pretty good - a long bloop single. "Send Word" is the only home run here, as the mournful melody is stated only once at the beginning, followed by a very elegant elaboration, where Weber's bowed baselines stretch like cosmic bubblegum out from the core lament. A very soft landing leaves Garbarek with a prime moment to repeat the melody and his elaboration dances around the haunting chordal structure of the song very poignantly. A couple of intense trills at two key points in the elaboration add the perfect touches and the song wanders off in an enhanced dream-like state with some tasteful Windham Hill piano licks nudging things along. This song is one of the few examples of Garbarek's ability to make good compositions truly shine with masterful arrangements.
"Voy Contando" has a great tenor sax melody, but Garbarek fails to develop the idea well at all and the song breaks up on the rocks about 2 minutes in. Too bad, because it could have been a real winner.
Of course, I am not in agreement with most other Garbarek critics, so don't take my word for anything. (They bounced me on me head, they did, like rubber balls do.) I do rate "Places," "Visible World," and "Dis" very highly and the rest of his releases very.... well lowly. "In Praise of Dreams" sounds interesting, so I'm going to cave in and buy it. But I'm fully aware that 30 seconds of sampling are not enough to judge a Garbarek song. Even 2 minutes on "Voy Contando" are not enough. Buy the way, what's with all of these screwball titles, anyway? They don't make up for the crappy song, Jan.
Otherwise, I'd need to check out Garbarek's work with Keith Jarrett and Ralph Towner to experience his true greatness as a saxophonist. Later New Age jazz gives him too much room to fart around, go overboard on the coy Norwegian references (Viking funerals for most of his releases please; I don't care if they float as long as it's away) and peddle Vasaschlock. Plus, he needs another (equal or better) composer to guide and light a fire under him and I guess Jarrett got sick unfortunately.
By the way, Kerouac is a cult figure too and most of his stuff could use some work too. But then, I have a thing for diamonds, don't I."