Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listeners who discovered Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek through Officium, his million-selling 1994 collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble, aren't likely to be disappointed in this double disc. They might, however, be... more »
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Listeners who discovered Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek through Officium, his million-selling 1994 collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble, aren't likely to be disappointed in this double disc. They might, however, be in for a surprise. Ambitiously traversing territory from ambient techno to large-scale choral works to Garbarek's more familiar brand of melodic jazz, Rites largely features Garbarek accompanied by electronic effects and synthesizers. But while there are plenty of appealing genre-hopping moments--like disc 2's opener, "It's High Time," where a traditional Scandinavian folk melody floats over a shuffling techno beat--the real successes on Rites come on the more acoustic-oriented tunes. The gorgeously ethereal "Her Wild Ways" features Garbarek backed by piano, bass, and drums, and Don Cherry's "Malinye" is a moving tribute to the late trumpeter that features the saxophonist accompanied only by percussion and accordion. There's also an intriguing two-song suite that's probably the set's highlight: "We Are the Stars," Garbarek's composition for himself and a Norwegian boys choir, and "The Moon Over Mtatsminda," composed and performed by Jansug Kakhidze, the Georgian conductor of the Tbisili Symphony Orchestra. The latter piece doesn't even feature Garbarek but blends seamlessly with the rest of the album because of its intense spirituality and beauty. --Ezra Gale
Was a double studio CD advisable?
Gavin Wilson | 05/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the massive commercial success (for a classical CD) of the 'Officium' album with the Hilliards, Garbarek stretched the wallets of his many fans by releasing two double studio CDs: 'Rites' and the unpronounceable 'Mnemosyne', in quick succession.OK, we know the guy can be prolific, but there's an impression that he releases too much -- the mediocre as well as the excellent -- and lets the fan decide. It's fine if you've got a recordable CD or mini-disk player, so that you can make your own compilation of the truly outstanding tracks. But that's hardly the purpose of releasing an album.'Rites' starts very promisingly, with the atmospheric title track, and then what is for many, the stand-out track, 'Where the Rivers Meet'. I know of at least one secondary school where the band had a go at this piece (within months of the album's release), and it went down a blast, even though few of the parents knew the tune.Elsewhere there is not enough material that is exceptional. I would have much preferred to have seen this released as two single CDs. It's all very pleasant and marvellously cinematic, but it lacks a certain passion."
Very interestingly situated in the vast Garbarek canon
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think we're talking pagan, not Christian, rites here. A number entitled "Pan" tips us off. That's OK, even for Christians. Jan Garbarek has earned the right to write about any rite he wants. But, as he had previously just recorded (mostly) sacred music with the Hilliard ensemble, I think it's a safe bet to think of this recording along the lines of what C. S. Lewis said when reflecting on when he first encountered the Delphic Oracle: It was almost by believing in the gods that I came to believe in God.
What makes this disc so interesting is that it neatly bridges two phases in Garbarek's musical pilgrimage: his pretty constant interest in ritualized musics (he has always played Jim Pepper's great theme, "Witchi Tai To," in his concerts) and his movement toward stylized world jazz that reaches its apex, perhaps, on his latest disc (as of this writing), In Praise of Dreams.
If this disc is a little messy, in that the artist seems to be probing and grasping for his next musical phase, incorporating lots of different rhythmic and cultural sensibilities, it is never less than interesting, and often compelling. If everything doesn't work optimally, that's as much because of its experimental nature as of it's imperfectly realized and, it must be admitted, somewhat inchoate aesthetic. Definitely worth acquiring, especially if you can get it at a discount."
A Good Place To Start Exploring Jan Garbarek
J. Rich | 08/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Rites," a double album, was released in 1998 on ECM Records. It acts, at least in my opinion, as a musical timeline of Jan Garbarek's career. Some really interesting pieces of music here. This album could be enjoyed by everyone, especially those that are into new age/jazz/world type of fusions.
Garbarek (soprano and tenor saxophones, keyboards, samples) is joined by some stellar musicians. His usual quartet at that time, which consisted of Rainer Bruninghaus on piano and synthesizers, Eberhard Weber on bass, and Marilyn Mazur on drums and percussion, but on "Rites" he's also joined by conductor and singer Jansug Kakhidze, Bugge Wesseltoft on additional keyboards and accordion, and finally the Boys of choir Solvguttgene. All of these musicians have memorable roles and have really made Garbarek's music special.
I've been a fan of Jan Garbarek's for a long time and "Rites" is one of my personal favorites right next to "I Took Up The Runes" and "Twelve Moons." Really beautiful music that deserves to be heard."