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I Took Up the Runes

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Album Review

A more eclectic release than his preceding releases, Jan Garbarek's I Took Up the Runes satisfies listeners who had been more or less impatient for something with some meat and some muscle. Opening with a jazzy cover of Mari Persen's "Gula Gula," made fuller with bass guitar accompaniment that modifies the chord structure of the whole tune, the album next features the five-part "Molde Canticle," which spans from a dreamy esoteric sound to African folk music. Garbarek really wails in places, and it is a welcome surprise — he should wail more than he does. Synthesizer sounds are starting to become less prominent as well. There is excellent piano work by Rainer Brüninghaus and excellent vocalizing by guest artist Ingor Ántte Áilu Gaup. A sign of good things to come. ~ Mark W.B. Allender, Rovi

Biography

Born: 04 March 1947 in Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek's icy tone and liberal use of space and long tones has long been perfect for the ECM sound and, as a result, he is on many recordings for that label, both as a leader and as a sideman. He had won a competition for amateur jazz players back in 1962, leading to his first gigs. Garbarek worked steadily in Norway throughout the remainder of the '60s, usually as a leader but also for four years with George Russell (who was in Scandinavia for a long stretch). Garbarek...
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