04.03.2022 | Artist
Today Jan Garbarek turns 75. ECM’s decades-long collaboration with the great Norwegian saxophonist goes all the way back to his label debut Afric Pepperbird, recorded in September 1970, with Terje Rypdal, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen. An album now regarded as a classic, it set the stage for many highly influential records with Jan as a leader, co-leader and creative contributor.
Jan’s own albums chart a continually evolving story documented on seminal recordings including Dansere, Dis, Eventyr, All Those Born with Wings, Legend of the Seven Dreams, Twelve Moons, Rites, In Praise of Dreams and Dresden.
One of the most immediately identifiable improvisers, with his concentrated and resolute saxophone sound, he has also played with musicians from very divergent backgrounds, traversing idioms, genres and traditions to explore new ground. Among Jan’s inspired collaborations are projects with Keith Jarrett (including Belonging, My Song, Luminessence, and Arbour Zena), with Charlie Haden and Egberto Gismonti (Magico, Folk Songs, Carta de Amor), with Ralph Towner (Solstice, Sound and Shadows), with Anouar Brahem (Madar), with Miroslav Vitous (Star, Atmos), with Gary Peacock (Paradigm – Voice from the Past, Guamba), with Shankar (Vision, Song for Everyone), with Zakir Hussain (Making Music), with Agnes Buen Garnås (Rosensfole), with Eberhard Weber (Chorus, Stages of a Long Journey), and many more. Jan has also brought his uniquely personal sound into the worlds of composers Giya Kancheli (Caris mere), Tigran Mansurian (Monodia), and Eleni Karaindrou (Music for Films, Concert in Athens). For 20 years he was a “fifth voice” alongside the singers of the Hilliard Ensemble, adding improvised saxophone to repertoire ranging from Morales and Perotin to Veljo Tormis (Officum, Mnemosyne, Officium Novum).
This month Jan embarks on a major tour, with dates in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Norway. The current line-up of the Jan Garbarek Group features keyboardist Rainer Brüninghaus (a member of Jan’s ensembles since the 1980s), percussionist and tabla virtuoso Trilok Gurtu, and bass guitarist Yuri Daniel.
Photo © Guri Dahl