The nestor of Norwegian jazz; one of the truly defining European jazz musicians of the past four decades Jan Garbarek is soon off on a tour of Germany with Jan Garbarek Group. They will be visiting some of the temples of music in a country that is probably more important to Garbarek than any other.
The perhaps strongest link to Germany is Garbarek’s association with Manfred Echer and the ECM label whose sound Garbarek has been instrumental in defining. And with that, he has been one of the most important persona in constituting a European jazz sound, a sound thus -by virtue of Garbarek and a few others- distinctly Nordic in timbre and mood.
Garbarek belongs to the few Norwegian artists to have ascended to the plane of achievement and renown that sets him in the pantheon of our artist, living and dead. He has been awarded every title and price imaginable, he has been knighted and in other times he would probably have been given a Dukedom and that title.
Garbarek has such a catalogue of recordings and such a position as a performing artist -across the world- that tours are something quite different to those undertaken by artists out to promote themselves or a new album. Rather, he plays more or less continually, albeit nowhere near with the frequency his admirers would have wished. He has a relatively fresh album to draw on, 2004's In Praise of dreams, which was something of a happening, as it marked the end of a six year break in own recordings. But it was not a project of the Jan Garbarek Group, the latest release of which was 1992's "Twelve Moons".
Thus the imminent concerts in Germany, starting April 21st. in Bielefeld, constitute a set of events not to be missed. And it is also some of the temples of music that Garbarek will be visiting; fitting for a superlative musician of which audiences have come to expect the utmost one can be given by a musical experience.