Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jazz on a Sunday Night (Take 2)

This Sunday it was the turn of Jan Garbarek* at the Royal Festval Hall as part of the London Jazz Festival.

We had never heard of him until a few years ago but our copy of the Rough Guide to Jazz kept falling open at that page so Mary figured we had to go buy an album. The first one we bought was the haunting and evocative Visible World. Since then we have acquired several more so when we saw that he was appearing it was a no-brainer decision to go and see him.

It was a fine concert, two hours without an interval. It was a quartet but to my untutored ears there was a definite pecking order in the band. Surprisingly Manu Katché on drums was the driving force then Jan Garbarek on sax with guitar and keyboards definitely playing second fiddle (sorry could not resist).

The FT said:
"When Jan Garbarek last toured the UK, he played in cathedrals. His music fitted: icy, architectural slabs of devotion.

At the London Jazz Festival, the Norwegian saxophonist presented a very different proposition. He had mislaid two members of his usual touring quartet. Eberhard Weber, his double-bass player, is ill, and was replaced by Yuri Daniel, a Brazilian resident of Oslo playing an electric guitar that might have been carved from teak. And the Parisian Manu Katché took the place of the percussionist Marilyn Mazur. Katché at his best is an indispensable drummer, giving a jazzy fluidity to rock records just as often as he lends a rocky energy boost to his jazz dates.

This youthful, hard-driving rhythm section was a challenge to which Garbarek rose. He could occasionally be seen slapping his thigh, which in someone so austere was as surprising as if he had stripped to the waist and gone stagediving."

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Full review on "FT Review".

* Wikipedia on Jan Garbarek

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