Jan Garbarek [Special]

Jan Garbarek [Special]

Jan Garbarek (born March 4, 1947 in Mysen, Norway) a Norwegian tenor and soprano saxophonist, active in the jazz, classical, and world music genres. Garbarek was the only child of a former Polish prisoner of war Czeslaw Garbarek and a Norwegian farmer's daughter. Effectively stateless till the age of seven (there is no automatic grant of citizenship in Norway) Garbarek grew up in Oslo. At 21, he married Vigdis. His daughter Anja Garbarek is also a musician. He has also played the bass saxophone.

Garbarek's sound is one of the hallmarks of the ECM record label, which has released virtually all of his recordings. His style incorporates a sharp-edged tone, long, keening, sustained notes strongly reminiscent of Islamic prayer calls, and generous use of silence. He began his recording career in the late 1960s, notably featuring on recordings by the American jazz composer George Russell (such as Othello Ballet Suite and Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature). If he had initially appeared as a devotee of Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann, by 1973 he had turned his back on the harsh dissonances of avant-garde jazz, retaining only his tone from his previous approach.

As a composer, Garbarek tends to draw heavily from Scandinavian folk melodies, a legacy of his Ayler influence. He is also a pioneer of ambient jazz composition, most notably on his 1976 album Dis. This textural approach, which rejects traditional notions of thematic improvisation (best exemplified by Sonny Rollins) in favour of a style described by critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton as "sculptural in its impact", has been critically divisive. Garbarek's more meandering recordings are often labeled as New Age music, a style generally scorned by more orthodox jazz musicians and listeners, or spiritual ancestors thereof. Other experiments have included setting a collection of poems of Olav H. Hauge to music, with a single saxophone complementing a full mixed choir; this has led to notable performances with Grex Vocalis, but not yet to recordings.

After recording a string of unheralded avant-garde albums, Garbarek rose to international prominence in the mid-1970s playing post-bop jazz, both as a member of and a leader of Keith Jarrett's successful "European Quartet". He achieved considerable commercial success in Europe with Dis, a meditative collaboration with guitarist Ralph Towner that featured the distinctive sound of a wind harp on several tracks. (Selections from Dis have been used as incidental music in several feature films and documentaries.) In the 1980s, Garbarek's music began to incorporate synthesizers and elements of world music. In 1993, during the Gregorian chant craze, his album Officium, a collaboration with early music vocal performers the Hilliard Ensemble, became one of ECM's biggest-selling albums of all time, reaching the pop charts in several European countries. (Its sequel, Mnemosyne, followed in 1999.) In 2005, his album In Praise of Dreams was nominated for a Grammy. He has composed music for the film Kippur.

In addition to the selections from Dis, Garbarek has also composed music for several other European films, including French and Norwegian films. Also his song "Rites" was used in the American film The Insider.

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1970 - Afric Pepperbird
1971 - Sart
1973 - Witchi-Tai-To
1974 - Red Lanta
1978 - Jan Garbarek/Keith Jarrett - My Song
1979 - Photo with…
1983 - Wayfarer
1984 - It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice
1987 - Jan Garbarek/Gary Peacock - Guamba
1988 - Legend of the Seven Dreams
1989 - Jan Garbarek/Agnes Buen Garnås - Rosensfole
1990 - I Took Up The Runes
1991 - Jan Garbarek/Miroslav Vitous/Peter Erskine - StAR
1991 - Jan Garbarek/Paul Giger/Pierre Favre - Alpstein
1992 - Jan Garbarek/Ustad Fateh Ali Khan - Ragas and Sagas
1993 - Miroslav Vitous/Jan Garbarek - Atmos
1993 - Twelve Moons
1993 - Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble - Officium
1994 - Jan Garbarek/Anouar Brahem/Shaukat Hussain - Madar
1998 - Rites (Doppel-CD) - part1 / part 2
1999 - Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble - Mnemosyne (Doppel-CD) part 1 / Part 2
2002 - Jan Garbarek/Kim Kashkashian - Monodia
2003 - Jan Garbarek/Miroslav Vitous - Universal Syncopations
2004 - In Praise Of Dreams