Twelve Moons

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Grieg,Pepper
PERFORMER: Jan Garbarek (saxophones, syn) with Rainer Brüninghaus (keyboard); Eberhard Weber (b); Manu Katché (d); Marilyn Mazur (perc); Agnes Buen Garnås, Mari Boine (v)


ECM was set up in 1969 with the aim of bringing classical music’s recording quality to a distinctively European brand of jazz, so it is entirely appropriate that the label’s 500th recording should feature Jan Garbarek, who epitomises its sound and aims.

Bringing a jazz sensibility to his plangent, hypnotic music, deeply rooted in Norwegian folk material, Garbarek’s sound – lyrical, contemplative, but surprisingly passionate, often achieving an almost keening quality – is set against a delicate tracery of synthesised and acoustic keyboards, sympathetic percussion and Eberhard Weber’s sonorous bass.


There are two haunting songs, an affecting version of Jim Pepper’s ‘Witchi-Tai-To’ and Grieg’s ‘Arietta’ – definitive Garbarek and definitive ECM. Chris Parker