Jan Garbarek this weekend. Any fan of ECM records, the prestigious Jazz label founded by Manfred Eicher, will know Jan Garbarek’s music simply because he has recorded so much for the label and with practically every act associated with the label since the early 1970s.
Garbarek, who has also branched out into Classical as well as World Music, started his recording career in 1966. Since then, he has gone on to fruitful collaborations with Gary Peacock, Keith Jarrett, Eberhard Weber and Ralph Towner, to name a few.
This concert, recorded by Northwest German Radio on July 3, 1979, features Bill Connors on guitar, John Taylor on Piano and organ, Eberhard Weber on bass and Jon Chrstensen on drums.
Garbarek’s style has been characterized as “sharp-edged tone, long, keening, sustained notes, and generous use of silence” In the 1990s, Garbarek got involved in classical Music during the height of popularity of the Gregorian Chant in 1994, recording the album Officium, which was a collaboration with Early Music performers, The Hilliard Ensemble. In the 1980s he also collaborated with Indian and Pakistani musicians. With some 30 albums to his credit as leader, and over 45 albums as a sideman, Garbarek’s career is very well documented. And then there are the live concerts both official and unofficial.
Suffice to say, the career of Jan Garbarek has been huge and far-reaching and has done a lot to bring various forms of music together under one roof and to collaborate with all those diverse elements.
This concert comes around the time of the release of two collaborations – one with Keith Jarrett (Personal Mountains) and with Charlie Haden (Folk Songs).
If you’re not familiar with the work of Jan Garbarek, or the ECM label in general, by all means, start checking both of them out. There is a very rich catalog of exciting music to be heard – and Jan Garbarek is among them.