Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

716

Jan Garbarek: In Praise of Dreams

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Following a six-year break from recording, with only a guest appearance on bassist Miroslav Vitous' Universal Syncopations ('03) and a :Rarum compilation ('02), Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek returns with his first album of new material since Rites ('98). In Praise of Dreams continues along the path established by such recordings as Legend of the Seven Dreams , I Took Up The Runes , and Visible World. But while Garbarek demonstrates the same penchant for deceptively simple pieces with almost anthem-like themes, his collaboration with violist Kim Kashkashian and drummer Manu Katche results in something richer, something deeper than what has come before.

Garbarek, who has long since gone beyond the need for overt demonstrations of instrumental capabilities, has for many years been more interested in searching for a purity of sound, a truth in the essence of the song that has caused some to accuse him of taking the easy path. But the reality is much more significant. Garbarek has clearly lost none of his vitality, as evidenced by his soloing on pieces including "As Seen from Above" and the lilting pan-Celtic feel of the title track. But on a recording where he has, once again, created layers of sound over which Kashkashian and Katche have added key elements, Garbarek has aimed for an even broader cinematic landscape than ever before. And while there are some relatively straightforward compositions, Garbarek has managed to blend folk elements with a classical richness and an improvisational sensibility to create a work that not only fits comfortably as an evolution of his long-term oeuvre, but also goes to some new places as well.

Much of the success of In Praise of Dreams is attributable to Kashkashian, who, with a warm and haunting tone, is the perfect foil for Garbarek's more frigid timbre. Like Garbarek, she seems dedicated to finding the right phrase, the perfect inflection, to give the material substance. And like Garbarek, she places the intent of the material before her own ego and, consequently, aims instead for a simple purity that makes for an engaging listen while still managing to reveal many layers on subsequent plays.

Garbarek's pieces have a compelling truth to them, from ensemble pieces like "Scene from Afar" to "A Tale Begun," which finds Garbarek using simple synthesizer textures and long saxophone tones to act as a fitting coda, retelling the title track without the percussion and lead voices. It demonstrates that Garbarek's quest for the spiritual essence of a song may be at its most compelling when stripped to its rawest elements.

There has been much conjecture surrounding this release, and the reality is that this is no radical digression from the path that Garbarek has travelled for many years. Still, with an evolutionary approach that finds him moving into ever more vivid and moving audioscapes, Garbarek may be the closest to finding the meaning he has been searching for all along.

Visit Universal Classics on the web.

Track Listing: As Seen from Above; In Praise of Dreams; One Goes There Alone; Knot of Place and Time; If You Go Far Enough; Scene from Afar; Cloud of Unknowing; Without Visible Sign; Iceburn; Conversation with a Stone; A Tale Begun

Personnel: Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano saxophones, synthesizers, samplers, percussion, Kim Kashkashian (viola on all but "As Seen from Above," "If You Go Far Enough," "A Tale Begun"), Manu Katché (drums on "As Seen from Above," "One Goes There Alone," "Knot of Place and Time," "Scene from Afar," "Iceburn," "Conversation with a Stone")

Title: In Praise Of Dreams | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
In Pictures
Album Reviews
Rediscovery
Book Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Journey into Jazz
Read more articles
Popofoni

Popofoni

Aurora Jazz
2017

buy
Dansere

Dansere

ECM Records
2012

buy
Jan Garbarek / Egberto Gismonti / Charlie Haden: Magico - Carta de Amor

Jan Garbarek /...

ECM Records
2012

buy
Officium Novum

Officium Novum

ECM Records
2011

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul11Thu
Jan Garbarek Group
Garana Jazz Festival
Garana, Romania

Related Articles

Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019
Read Social Music Album Reviews
Social Music
By Roger Farbey
May 19, 2019
Read Circle Inside The Folds Album Reviews
Circle Inside The Folds
By John Eyles
May 18, 2019
Read Momentum Album Reviews
Momentum
By Jerome Wilson
May 18, 2019
Read Bonsai Club Album Reviews
Bonsai Club
By Roger Farbey
May 18, 2019