Jan Garbarek: Various

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COMPOSERS: Jan Garbarek
LABELS: ECM
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Jan Garbarek (saxophone), Rainer Brüninghaus (piano), Yuri Daniel (bass), Manu Katché (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ECM 270 9572

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We have been waiting five years for a new disc from the Jan Garbarek Group so here’s cause for real celebration: not only is Dresden a double CD, it is a live recording (from 2007) and contains five new originals.

Garbarek is a different person away from the ECM studio and his ascetic patron/producer Manfred Eicher.

Yes, he’s still the Nordic king of the keening soprano sax, with trademark windswept minor key settings and a focus on note quality that imparts such a biting wind-chill factor.

But the normally intense Norwegian is more expansive in an auditorium packed with devotees hanging on every phrase – exuberant even. 

The new ‘multikulti’ group dynamic works too, with the Franco-Brazilian rhythm section of bassist Daniel and drummer Katché adding colour to Bruninghaus’s northern-lit keyboards.

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Pray that next year’s tour dates include a town near you. You’ll be blown away. Garry Booth