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Jan Garbarek (born 4 March 1947 in Mysenmarker, Norwaymarker) is a Norwegianmarker tenor and soprano saxophonist, active in the jazz, classical, and world music genres. Garbarek was the only child of a former Polish prisoner of war Czeslaw Garbarek and a Norwegian farmer's daughter. Effectively stateless until the age of seven (there is no automatic grant of citizenship in Norway) Garbarek grew up in Oslo. At 21, he married Vigdis. His daughter Anja Garbarek is also a musician.

Biography

Garbarek's sound is one of the hallmarks of the ECM record label, which has released virtually all of his recordings. His style incorporates a sharp-edged tone, long, keening, sustained notes strongly reminiscent of Islamic prayer calls, and generous use of silence. He began his recording career in the late 1960s, notably featuring on recordings by the American jazz composer George Russell (such as Othello Ballet Suite and Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature). If he had initially appeared as a devotee of Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann, by 1973 he had turned his back on the harsh dissonances of avant-garde jazz, retaining only his tone from his previous approach.

Garbarek gained wider recognition through his work with pianist Keith Jarrett's European Quartet which released the albums Belonging (1974), My Song (1977) and the live recordings Personal Mountains (1979), and Nude Ants (1979). He was also a featured soloist on Jarrett's orchestral works Luminessence (1974) and Arbour Zena (1975)

As a composer, Garbarek tends to draw heavily from Scandinavian folk melodies, a legacy of his Ayler influence. He is also a pioneer of ambient jazz composition, most notably on his 1976 album Dis a collaboration with guitarist Ralph Towner that featured the distinctive sound of a wind harp on several tracks. This textural approach, which rejects traditional notions of thematic improvisation (best exemplified by Sonny Rollins) in favour of a style described by critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton as "sculptural in its impact", has been critically divisive. Garbarek's more meandering recordings are often labeled as New Age music, a style generally scorned by more orthodox jazz musicians and listeners, or spiritual ancestors thereof. Other experiments have included setting a collection of poems of Olav H. Hauge to music, with a single saxophone complementing a full mixed choir; this has led to notable performances with Grex Vocalis, but not yet to recordings. In the 1980s, Garbarek's music began to incorporate synthesizers and elements of world music.

In 1993, during the Gregorian chant craze, his album Officium, a collaboration with early music vocal performers the Hilliard Ensemble, became one of ECM's biggest-selling albums of all time, reaching the pop charts in several European countries and was followed by a sequel, Mnemosyne, in 1999. In 2005, his album In Praise of Dreams was nominated for a Grammy. Garbarek's first live album Dresden was released in 2009.

Film music

Selections from Dis have been used as incidental music in several feature films and documentaries. Garbarek has composed music for the film Kippur and several other European films, including French and Norwegian films. His composition "Rites" was used in the American film The Insider and Garbarek performs on Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts' soundtrack for the Japanese anime Cowboy Bebop.

Discography

Jan Garbarek live

As leader



As sideman



References

External links




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