Jan Garbarek: Witchi-Tai-To




Jan Garbarek (soprano sax)


Witchi-Tai-To (ECM 1041)

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Jan Garbarek (soprano sax), Bobo Stenson (piano), Jon Christensen (bass), Palle Danielsson (bass).

Composed by Jim Pepper


Recorded: Oslo, Norway, November, 1973


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

No record label has done more to establish the unique voice of European jazz -- not as an adjunct to American trends, but as a legitimate source of innovation -- than ECM under the direction of Manfred Eicher. But here Jan Garbarek and the exceptional rhythm section of Bobo Stenson, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen dig deeply into the ultimate American roots music. The Native American-inspired jazz of the late Jim Pepper is still all too little known and appreciated, although it has found a devoted audience that will not let his vital music be forgotten. Garbarek and crew offer an impassioned rendition of Pepper's best-known composition. Stenson starts in a wistful vein, but the energy level gradually increases . . . until Garbarek enters and wails with passion. His work in the upper register is as close as the saxophone can get to a human cry.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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