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Jan Garbarek - Visible World CD (album) cover


Jan Garbarek


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.25 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Ah, finally Jan Garbarek is here! He's one of my earliest favourites in the jazz genre (I started exploring jazz around 1994); I generally enjoy spacey, melancholic Nordic jazz and several artists in ECM, and no doubt it is partly of Garbarek's influence. This album may not have been the very first I heard but it was the first that I became deeply fond of.

This may be one of the most peaceful and melodic Garbarek albums too. Accessible? Yeah, why not. But I believe this music either touches you emotionally or it leaves you a bit cold. For a hardcore jazz connoisseur it probably isn't among the best achievements Garbarek has done; it might be too mild for that. But if you enjoy introspective music that has blood relation to silence, and perhaps are familiar to New Age kind of music too, this might touch you. No, I'm not saying this is as calm and emotional as New Age, but I hope you get my idea.

The musicians here are all fantastic. On piano is Garbarek's regular collaborator Rainer Brüninghaus, on drums Manu Katché (worked with Peter Gabriel), on percussion Marilyn Mazur, one of the most respected percussion artists today, and she certainly shapes the sound of this album strongly, and on bass the legendary Eberhard Weber whose unique sound is simply made for this environment. Alongside his soprano and tenor saxes Garbarek plays also synths and additional percussion.

Typical for Norwegian jazz (sometimes nicknamed as fjord-jazz), this is minor, not major key, but instead of depressing it is refreshing, cleansing music. Especially soprano sax paints images of vast landscapes. Many tracks are shamelessly melodic and sort of song- structured. Some are longer and slightly more abstract in form, but always quite accessible to a listener who prefers to concentrate emotionally in music. There are many favourite tracks but the one that "touches" me the deepest is the middle part of 'Desolate Mountains' triptych. It is so delicate, spacey and melancholic that if the word silence doesn't have a positive association to you it probably only makes you yawn.

(So, I had the pleasure of reviewing one of my dearest albums, and from now on it is bound to be less rewarding to review other Garbarek albums, even though there are many that I like a lot. But I guess I'll be in touch!)

Matti | 4/5 |


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