MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Jan Garbarek's 'In Praise of Dreams'
Jan Garbarek needs no introduction, as he is a towering figure in contemporary music and perhaps Norway’s most internationally known musician. Through a career spanning almost forty years his music and saxophone playing have earned him a unique position in international jazz, contemporary and choral music, and he belongs to the rare group of musicians with a tone so characteristic so as to have become an adjective.
“In Praise of Dreams” is his first record in six years. It features two unique musicians with whom Garbarek has collaborated frequently over the past decade and more: Kim Kashkasian on the viola and Manu Katche on drums.
“The material for this record was conceived with the unique qualities of Kim’s playing in mind, ” says Garbarek. “The dialogue constituted by the interweaving viola- and saxophone melodies is the essence of the record”.
The other defining trait is the blend of acoustic and electronics elements. Previously Garbarek has not to such a degree included electronic loops and samples on his solo recordings. The playing of Katche is based more on pattern than improvisation and thus his style is the perfect organic auxiliary to the electronic elements.
The record has been described as decidedly filmic in its mood and splendidly displays Garbarek’s special style of blending the enigmatic and the crystal clear.
International critics have termed Garbarek’s choice of collaborators a masterstroke, and the novel electronic elements genius. Acclaim for the record has been unanimous across the line of influential magazines.