Tim Garland

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Tim Garland
LABELS: Edition
ALBUM TITLE: Tim Garland: Songs to the North Sky
WORKS: Songs to the North Sky
PERFORMER: Tim Garland (saxophone), Asaf Sirkis (drums), Jason Rebello (piano) etc, Royal Northern Sinfonia Strings
CATALOGUE NO: EDN1051

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This impressive set brings together major strands in Tim Garland’s music – the first disc spotlights his jazz group Lighthouse, the second features writing for string ensemble.

The Lighthouse sessions provide pretty much anything you could want from a jazz session: emotionally intense, technically brilliant playing, strong tunes, Sirkis’s powerful and supple pulse, constantly engaging interaction,
all-round exhilaration.

The second disc is an exemplary melding of scored material and improvisation, with exciting playing from solo violinist Magdalena Filipczak, and John Patitucci’s extemporised bass passages stitching together the atmospheric compositions. Comparisons with ‘Scandi jazz’ projects on the ECM label may be lazy, but helpful, shorthand for the overall feel, with Celtic and Borders folk traditions evoked instead of Scandinavian. But this is far from being derivative music, and if Garland retired tomorrow this would stand as a superb, intensely personal, summation of his talent.

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Barry Witherden