Essential: a masterpiece of Progressive Rock music
What can a man do with a guitar?
Being referred to as one of the best guitarist on the globe this moment had to come: the ultimate guitar solo record. To be more specific: the ultimate guitar side of a record.
Jan’s latest album will feature Double Concertos by Brahms, Rihm, and Harbison, performed with violinist Mira Wang. Double Concertos, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, will be available on Sony Classical.
As one of ECM’s most passionate and prolific contributors, Jan Garbarek has left us with a varicolored, sometimes watery, archive. For All Those Born With Wings, the Norwegian saxophonist went solo, painting an evocative album of relic-laden vistas. The result is a six-part session filled with a variety of instruments and tastes. The hammered dulcimer is a welcome sound to the Garbarek palette, and is used tastefully in the 1st Part, where Garbarek’s saxophone refracts into a flock of large-winged birds. An army of chants floods the 2nd Part, as martial drums resound like the introductory sequence of a classic martial arts film.
Jan Garbarek's icy and haunting tones on tenor and soprano are in the forefront during much of this set. He performs six originals (which have simple but picturesque titles such as "Blue Sky," "Windows" and "The Red Roof") with the assistance of guitarist Bill Connors, pianist John Taylor, bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Jon Christensen.
Though in step with its time, this release suffers from excessive reliance on ambient synthesizers, which litter much of the recording, rendering it only slightly more interesting than many of the Windham Hill new age recordings of the same era. Unfortunate, because the disc opens with strength and gradually peters out by the end. The disc opens with "He Came From the North," which features a melody based on a traditional Lapp joik from the artist's native Norway and progresses into a longer section with an interplay that is both sparse and rhythmic. The sax line here is astonishingly beautiful. The second piece, "Alchuri, the Song Man," a sax and percussion piece, is energetic and lively as well. And from here the energy gradually diminishes. Much can be attributed to popular styles of the time, but this release simply does not stand up to other music of its genre that came later.