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Dresden: In Concert
Jan Garbarek Group
Dresden: In Concert
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2

Recorded at Dresden's Alte Schlachthof in October 2007, this two-CD set is the first-ever live album to be issued under Jan Garbarek's name. Dresden, a fiery and powerful performance and a fine document of the Norwegian sa...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Jan Garbarek Group
Title: Dresden: In Concert
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: ECM Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2009
Re-Release Date: 9/22/2009
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, New Age, Pop
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, European Jazz
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 602527095721


Album Description
Recorded at Dresden's Alte Schlachthof in October 2007, this two-CD set is the first-ever live album to be issued under Jan Garbarek's name. Dresden, a fiery and powerful performance and a fine document of the Norwegian saxophonist's exceptional improvising capacities, captures his group in a period when it was, of necessity, reformulating its approach. Earlier in the year bassist Yuri Daniel had been drafted into the band to help Garbarek fulfil commitments when Eberhard Weber, a unique component of the Garbarek ensemble's core sound for three decades, had been sidelined by illness. The new group tackles its repertoire head-on; with the interaction between Garbarek and drummer Manu Katché at the center of the music. Daniel, a Brazilian bassist living in Portugal whose previous associations have ranged from Maria João's group to the Lisbon Underground Music Ensemble, helps to anchor the pulses and rhythmic patterns. Rainer Brüninghaus, a Garbarek Group member since 1988, maintains his long-established role as colorist-in-action. While both bassist and keyboardist claim their own solo space, more often they help to shape a climate in which Garbarek's hymnic, declamatory and intensely melodic solos can find full expression, drawing energy also from Katché's hard-driving drums. As The Guardian wrote of the group on this leg of the 2007 tour, "The contrast between an intense jamming sound and the songlike simplicity of the tunes is always Garbarek's magic mix, but this version of the band has an exhilarating intensity." The Norwegian-German-Brazilian-French band powers through material old and new, and sketches a world of musical interconnections - beginning with an ecstatic account of "Paper Nut", written by Indian violinist Lakshminarayana Shankar for the ECM Song for Everyone album back in 1984. "Milagre Dos Peixes" (Miracle of the Fishes), by Milton Nascimento, was a revelation for many musicians when Wayne Shorter introduced it on his Native Dancer recording: the Garbarek group lift it to another level. "Rondo Amoroso", is Garbarek's arrangement of a composition by Harald Sæverud (1897-1992). Perhaps the most prolific Norwegian composer after Grieg, Sæverud was strongly influenced by the essence of folksong - the parallel with Jan's work is clear enough. Of Garbarek pieces, three selections from Twelve Moons are revisited - "Twelve Moons" itself, "The Tall Tear Trees" and "There Were Swallows". From Legend of the Seven Dreams, comes the dramatic "Voy Cantando". "Once I Dreamt A Tree Upside Down" with its leaping, teasing melody, was first heard on Trilok Gurtu's Living Magic. (Gurtu, incidentally, joins Garbarek for this year's round of concert dates). Material appearing on disc for the first time here includes "Heitor", "The Reluctant Saxophonist", "Fugl", "Maracuja", and the striking "Nu Bein'", a piece based on a Nubian rhythm and introduced by Jan on seljefløyte, the Norwegian overtone flute. Dresden is an eagerly awaited release. It has been five years since In Praise of Dreams, eleven years since Rites, and sixteen years since Twelve Moons the last Garbarek disc identified unequivocally as Jan Garbarek Group album. In the interim, through steady touring, the ensemble has become perhaps the most popular European group currently playing instrumental music with strong improvisational traits - beyond genre now, and in an idiom of its own, broader than "jazz", though still inspired by its most open-minded exponents.

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CD Reviews

David J. Ohanlon | Lilyfield, NSW Australia | 10/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For such an "immediate" & often spontaneous art form, it's interesting that there aren't a lot of live jazz albums being produced these days. However, over the past twelve months we have been blessed with two of the best, viz Chick Corea/John McLaughlin's "Five Peace Band Live" & "Dresden" by the Jan Garbarek Group.
I have to tell you, as a Garbarek fan, you've got to be really patient these days as it's been over 5 years since his last album ("In Praise of Dreams") which itself was over 5 years after "Rites". I also have to admit to some trepidation when I heard he was putting out a live album as I had only ever seen him in concert once & been particularly underwhelmed (although my elevated expectations & the Programme, a Norwegian song cycle, may have had a fair bit to do with that).
Well, IMHO this is one of, if not THE album of the year with outstanding musicianship happily met with a pristine, sharp & clear recording, an excellent choice of material (interesting that there are no less than three selections from his rather austere classic "Twelve Moons" album yet none from "Rites" which is, after all, an excellent double CD) and multi-layered, multi-coloured performances (the extremes of light & shade in each piece is absolutely breathtaking). The two hour Programme is not all Garbarek either - there is for example a superb 13 minute workout of Milton Nascimento's "Milagre dos Peixas".
Garbarek himself is in superlative form (vibrantly coaxing or caressing his instrument(s) in equal measure), Katche adds delightful colours &/or drive as appropriate, Bruninghaus is as always supportive & creative (his solo piece "Transformations" is excellent) & "newcomer" Yuri Daniel on bass (in the absence of the currently ailing Eberhard Weber) fits in perfectly.
There are WAY too many highlights to nominate individually but suffice to say the above-mentioned "Milagre" & the three pieces from Twelve Moons (The Tall Tear Trees, There Were Swallows & the title track) are right up there with the best. Truth to tell I love every track (although maybe drum/percussion solos, no matter how technically brilliant, are best left on the Concert stage!).
Seriously, 10 stars if I could so do yourself a favour a grab a copy today!"
Garbarek's Best
Dunbarton Oakes | 11/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've never been a fan of soprano sax and so consequently, not a big fan of Garbarek. Although he occasionally plays tenor much of his work has been in the higher register of the soprano making for flutish pitch. Of course Garbarek has been ECM's biggest seller, even more so than Keith Jarrett, so he doesn't need the endorsement. Dresden, his first legitimate live recording, is an outstanding effort and Garbarek has never sounded better. Since I purchased the MP3 version I can't tell if he is palying more tenor here or just playing in a lower than usual register. His band, with the exception of Bruninghaus on piano, is new and the sound is fresh; the arrangments almost with a Carla Bley feel to them, create a tension in the music that is missing from many of the almost ambient sounding ECM releases of the past. I have a bootleg recording of Garbarek live in Chiasso from a few years back and it's more interesting than most of his studio work as well. Perhaps "live" is the best venue for Garbarek. Dresden is not only the best Garbarek recording - it may be one of the top 3 jazz releases in 2009."
Mindful improvising from Garbarek! Outstanding!
J. Herrmann | RICHMOND,VA | 01/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Several notches above the 'today' sound of modern jazz! For intelligent improvisation - Jan Garbarek exceeds my standard! ecm shines!
The current All Music Guide review says it all: "Dresden is an engaged, kinetic, double-disc, two-hour performance of his quartet playing in the modern jazz idiom and using all of its tenets -- from complex harmonics and rhythmic invention to extended lyric improvisation -- to create a tour de force that honors all the music he holds dear.""