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Album Review

Fearlessly searching for new conceptions of sound and not caring where he found them, Garbarek joined hands with the classical early-music movement, improvising around the four male voices of the Hilliard Ensemble. Now here was a radical idea guaranteed to infuriate both hardcore jazz buffs and the even more pristine more-authentic-than-thou folk in early music circles. Yet this unlikely fusion works stunningly well — and even more hearteningly, went over the heads of the purists and became a hit album at a time (1994) when Gregorian chants were a hot item. Chants, early polyphonic music, and Renaissance motets by composers like Morales and Dufay form the basic material, bringing forth a cool yet moving spirituality in Garbarek's work. Recorded in a heavily reverberant Austrian monastery, the voices sometimes develop in overwhelming waves, and Garbarek rides their crest, his soprano sax soaring in the monastery acoustic, or he underscores the voices almost unobtrusively, echoing the voices, finding ample room to move around the modal harmonies yet applying his sound sparingly. Those with nervous metabolisms may become impatient with this undefinable music, but if you give it a chance, it will seduce you, too. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended

The sound on this album is something quite extraordinary, based on just a few voices it develops haunting melodies and uplifting waves of emotion. While I am an avid jazz fan, I found the sax improvosation on this album quite tasteful and artfully executed, not generic or overdone. If you are looking for something to help create an otherworldly mood that will help you remember that our world is part of something more magical or just something very relaxing, you will like this album. I hope this review helps! Enjoy.

Absolutely Amazing.

I was introduced to this album after Parce Mihi Domine was featured on the Season One Finale of Queer as Folk. I purchased the album after listening to a few sample clips, and have not been dissapointed. The music is really moving and almost brings me to tears at times. Very relaxing.

I don't know...

The sax with the Renaissance style music seems odd, they don't seem like two styles that can mesh easily. Still, great music.


Born: March 4, 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...
Full Bio

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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Jan 01, 1994

Customer Ratings


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