Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
This 1995 release followed closely on the heels of the enormously successful Officium, Jan Garbarek's meditative collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble. The same tranquil aesthetic prevails on this release, but the metho... more »
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This 1995 release followed closely on the heels of the enormously successful Officium, Jan Garbarek's meditative collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble. The same tranquil aesthetic prevails on this release, but the methods and materials differ. Garbarek opts here for the recording studio over the monastery, building up many of the tracks himself with percussion and keyboards as well as the keening, resonant sounds of his soprano and tenor saxes. His compositions emphasize folk-like melodies and ethereal soundscapes, and there's effective work from pianist Rainer Brüninghaus and bassist Eberhard Weber. The often-dramatic percussion from Marilyn Mazur, Manu Katché, and Trilok Gurtu adds ceremonial and world-music touches to some superior work in the New Age genre. --Stuart Broomer
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I think I'm going to give Jan Garbarek a lifetime free pass
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 02/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . as far as I'm concerned, he can do just about whatever he wants and earn a five-star review from me.
I have a somewhat curious relationship to this disc of his. I remember purchasing it and being rather disappointed. No, not rather, MAJORLY disappointed. I thought it lacked rigor, soul, you name it. So much so that I sold it.
Then, after coming to my senses a decade later, I re-checked it out.
And was completely, absolutely, bowled over, estimating that it may, just, be his finest recording ever.
What happened in the interim? I'm not completely sure. I bought Rites and In Praise of Dreams. I revisited Legend of the Seven Dreams, I Took Up the Runes, and It's Okay to Listen to the Gray Voice, and concluded that here was a master of jazz elegiacism--perhaps the greatest and most important move of this alien yet homely music.
And I decided that Garbarek, on account of the hugely evocative move (the purely elegiac) that he makes on almost all his discs--but most decisively here--deserves a Lifetime Free Pass.
What does that mean? For me, it means that unless he makes a major misstep, everything he records merits utter musical absolution: No Purgatory for this master of the heart and soul of jazz melancholy.
Isn't that a little silly? I suppose so, but I can't help it. First off, his soprano sax concept and execution alone merit such exceptionalism. Has there ever been a player who gets so much pathos out of an instrument? I don't think so, and I also don't think there ever will be.
Second, he's somehow, magically, single-handedly bridged the gap between New Age and authentic jazz in his soprano sax playing and overall musical conception and soundscape. Tell me if you detect even the slightest hint of Kenny G in these grooves, and I'll retract everything I've said. But you won't. Trust me.
Third, I venture to say without contradiction that you'll hear here sounds and voices seldom if ever heard elsewhere. Take "Visible World - chiaro" as an example. What mystery! What pathos! What friendly weirdness! But "Desolate Mountains I" sustains and extends the aesthetic by leaps and bounds, and its successor, "Desolate Mountains II" somehow, magically, ups the ante.
Look. We're in the hands of a master here. No room for gainsaying. Nor second-guessing. Nor grousing.
Just accept it. Acknowledge it. And be grateful."
Music That Changed My Life!
Oded Fried-Gaon | 10/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, well. Jan Garbarek is amazing no matter what he does, but here specifically the compositions and musicianship are stunning. The music is powerful in that it is effervescent in its quality, soulful and vibrant. It penetrates deep and affects you sonically. The production is, as usual with ECM, flawless and moving. Lay back and the melodies take you anywhere and everywhere."