Jan Garbarek/Egberto Gismonti/Charlie HadenMagico: Carta de AmorECM Records2012It's sure been a banner year for fans of the ECM label, with a slew of fine new releases from artists including guitarist John Abercrombie (Within a Song), bassist Arild Andersen (Celebration), pianist Tord Gustavsen (The Well), and saxophonist Tim Berne (Snakeoil). Previously out-of-print or never-before-in-print studio recordings from saxophonist Jan Garbarek (Dansere) and pianist Jon Balke (Magnetic Works: 1993-2001) are now back in circulation. And, for the first time since bassist Charlie Haden's duet record with pianist/guitarist Egberto Gismonti (2001's In Montreal, from a ...read more
Jan GarbarekDansereECM Records2012Of all the box sets released so far as part of ECM Records' Old & New Masters Edition series, none have documented a period of such rapid growth and change as that of Jan Garbarek and Dansere, which collects the Norwegian saxophonist's three recordings with Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson: Sart (1971), Witchi-Tai-To (1974) and Dansere (1976). ECM's series of three- and four-disc Old and New Masters sets began with pianist Keith Jarrett's Setting Standards: New York Sessions (2008), celebrating the 25th anniversary of his now nearly 30-year Standards Trio, and ...read more
Officium (ECM, 1993) paired renowned Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek with The Hilliard ensemble--a vocal group with a formidable reputation in the fields of both early and new music--playing a riveting and gorgeous set of compositions that were 500 years old. This unusual pairing proved to be a match made in heaven, as the subtle and wistful tone of Garbarek's 20th century instrument somehow found its place as another voice among the beautiful voices of the Hilliard ensemble, receiving rave reviews. The fruits of that collaboration continued with a series of concerts and a sequel, the double-disc Mnemosine (ECM, 1998), which ...read more
Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard EnsembleChurch of St. Ignatius LoyolaNew York, NYNovember 12, 2010 Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and the ancient music quartet known as The Hilliard Ensemble first came together through the machinations of ECM records owner and maestro Manfred Eicher. Their auspicious debut collaboration was Officium (ECM 1994), a serene mix of Medieval chants blended with Garbarek's ethereal saxophone. Belonging to neither the classical nor jazz bins, yet with clear roots to both traditions, it proved to be a surprise success among mainstream audiences. Now, fifteen years later, the five musicians haven't ...read more
At first blush, there is really no reason the eutection of early a capella music and modern saxophone should work. It is antithetical, it makes no sense. However, wizards like Manfred Eicher, saxophonist and ECM stalwart Jan Garbarek, and early music mavens The Hilliard Ensemble not only defy the odds, they redefine them with a bit of creative musical alchemy. An adjective that meets at the intersection of ECM, Garbarek, and the Hilliards is atmospheric. Witness the reception of Officium (ECM, 1994) and Mnemosyne (ECM, 1999).Officium Novum continues this unlikely success with a collection of Armenian music, evolved ...read more
With the unexpected massive success of Officium (ECM, 1994), Jan Garbarek's first collaboration with The Hilliard Ensemble, it would be all too easy for the Norwegian saxophonist and British vocal ensemble to rest on their not inconsiderable laurels, and simply repeat the formula. But while Officium featured a repertoire of structured early music--from Gregorian chant to early polyphony, over which Garbarek soared improvisationally--the double-disc follow-up, Menemosyne (ECM, 1999), expanded the quintet's purview by introducing music of a more contemporary nature, including fragments of minimal notation that encouraged The Hilliard Ensemble to extemporize alongside the saxophonist. A decade later, Officium Novum ...read more
For those new to the explorations of jazz, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek could be a new name. Never a prolific artist, Dresden is his first release in five years, following In Praise of Dreams (ECM Records, 2004). It was another five years between that disc and its predecessor, Mnemosyne (ECM Records, 1999).But for fans who have been in it for the long haul--and for those open to the European jazz listening experience--Dresden is further proof of Garbarek's ongoing musical vitality, passionate artistry, and ability to put together a unique group sound. This is, after all, The Jan Garbarek ...read more
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