Jan Garbarek: Milagre dos Peixes


Milagre dos Peixes


Jan Garbarek (tenor sax)


Dresden (ECM 13342)

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Jan Garbarek (tenor sax),

Rainer Brüninghaus (piano), Yuri Daniel (bass), Manu Katché (drums)


Composed by Milton Nascimento


Recorded: Live at Alter Schlachthof, Dresden,October 20, 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Given a five year lapse since his last ECM leader date, In Praise of Dreams, any Jan Garbarek recording is a significant event on the European jazz scene. But the double-CD Dresden is an especially poised project which comes closest of any of Garbarek's releases to capturing what this artist can do in live performance. Here he is joined by one of those cross-border bands that are increasingly common in Europe these days. In this instance, the Norwegian saxophonist is supported by French drummer Manu Katché, German pianist Rainer Brüninghaus and Brazilian bassist Yuri Daniel. The song of choice is also Brazilian—Milton Nascimento's "Milagre dos Peixes"—but this is really music that travels without baggage or security checks. When pianist Brüninghaus unleashes his solo, there is more blues than bossa in his conception, and Garbarek proved decades ago that he can impose his own musical personality on any piece, whether working alongside Keith Jarrett or the Hilliard Ensemble. This is the longest track on the double-CD release—a thirteen-minute workout—and like the best of Garbarek's work, it comes across more as a ritual performance than the cover version of a song. I have long thought that jazz players could learn from visual artists, who realized decades ago that a distinctive personal style is more important than the demonstration of technique. Certainly Garbarek has no shortage of technique—Stuart Nicholson recently sent me a tape of his work as a teenager which is stunning in its hard bop workout over the changes—but he is also one of the grand stylists of the horn, as this new release will confirm again to the delight of his fans whose five year wait is over.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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