Jan Garbarek possesses a quality that every musician across the world would love to have, regardless of whether or not they engage in improvisations: his own distinctive and widely recognisable style. His hallmark sound is the warm, melodious timbre of his saxophone, which is just one of the many instruments he uses, some of the others including flutes, keyboards and percussions. Incidentally, Garbarek is also a symbol not only of Scandinavian but also, more generally, of European jazz as well as an artist who has helped forge the great success and unique profile of the prominent Munich ECM record label. It was for ECM that he made his epoch-making recordings with Keith Jarrett's Scandinavian quartet (the hit albums "Belonging", "Personal Mountains", "My Song" and "Nude Ants"). Garbarek has been associated with the ECM label since the early 1970s producing his own original works. These include hosts of magnificent albums, some of the most prominent of which are "Afric Pepperbird", "Witchi-Tai-To", "It's OK to Listen to the Gray Voice", "Legend of Seven Dreams", "I Took Up The Runes", and "Twelve Moons".
Garbarek brilliantly embraces elements of traditional music, not only from Norway or Scandinavia but also from other parts of the world. Suffice it to mention such superb albums as "Rosensfole" - which drew on Norway's medieval traditions and was recorded together with Agnes Buen Garnas - and "Ragas and Sagas" - a joint production with Pakistani musicians.
Garbarek has invited other top artists to contribute to his key albums. He formed a trio with Egberto Gismonti and Charlie Haden (the "Magico" and "Folk Songs" albums), a duo with Gismonti for the great "Sol Do Meio Dia", Zakir Hussain for "Making Music", L. Shankar for "Song For Everyone", Gary Peacock, Ralph Towner, Eberhard Weber and many more.
Polish fans adore the exceptional refined quality of his music, which does not lose any of its sophistication for being extremely accessible. In addition to his marvellous and strictly musical solutions, his work packs a powerful spiritual element. Needless to say, the artist's Polish descent is not without significance for audiences in our country.
Garbarek has visited Poznań on multiple occasions, both as head of his jazz quartet, and together with the famous vocal quartet Hilliard Ensemble, with which he made sensational recordings for the album Officium in the 1990s. The artists continued to work together on two further albums and shared the stage at numerous concerts (over the years in Poznań, they made appearances in the cathedral, the Parish Church and the Dominican Church). Garbarek graced Poznań with his jazz presence on many occasions, including the Poznań Jazz Fair festival in 1996 (when he appeared in one of the exhibition halls of the International Trade Fair), and an event in the Adam Mickiewicz University Auditorium a few years later.
This year, he is bringing a quartet of his own making, whose other star is the famous Trilok Gurtu, the India-based master of percussion. The band also features Garbarek's long-time partner Reiner Bruninghaus (keyboard) and Yuri Daniel (bass).
The artists will appear in the Earth Hall on the grounds of the International Trade Fair on 30 June. Tickets to the concert are on sale now. At prices ranging from PLN 150 to 240, they can be purchased in the CIK [Cultural Information Centre] and online from Interticket, Eventim, Biletomat and Kup Bilecik. The event is organised by Agencja Artystyczna Perspektywy in cooperation with the Edmund Institute.
translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski
© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2019