Tag Archives: saxophone

Artist Profiles: Antonio Lizana

Antonio Lizana – Photo by Ana Solinis

Saxophonist, singer, arranger and composer Antonio Lizana was born in San Fernando, (Cádiz, Spain) in 1983.

He began sax studies in his native Cádiz and later continued at Musikene in northern Spain.

Antonio Lizana participated in Miguel Blanco’s Afrodisian Orchestra on the Satierismos album (2011). He also collaborated with Arturo O’Farrill’s Big Band.

Lizana specializes in the fusion of jazz and flamenco.


De Viento ‎(Quartet Records, 2012)
Quimeras Del Mar ‎(Sony Music, 2015)
Oriente ‎(Sony Music, 2017)


The Salsa Music of Ismael Rivera Reconstructed for Alto Saxophone

Miguel Zenón – Sonero: The Music of Ismael River

Miguel Zenón – Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera (Miel Music, 2019)

Puerto Rican composer, arranger and virtuoso saxophonist Miguel Zenón continues his series of tributes to Puerto Rican music on Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera. Within salsa, Ismael “Maelo” Rivera was an innovator. He introduced vocal improvisation and also incorporated Puerto Rican rhythms like bomba y plena.

On Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera, Miguel Zenón takes some of Maelo’s best-known and beloved songs and transforms them into masterfully-crafted straight ahead jazz pieces with an underlying Puerto Rican flavor.

The lineup on the album includes Miguel Zenón on alto saxophone; Luis Perdomo on piano; Hans Glawischnig on bass; and Henry Cole on drums.

Buy Sonero: The Music of Ismael River


Artist Profiles: Jorge Pardo

Jorge Pardo in 2014 – Photo by Manuel Naranjo

Jorge Pardo was born in Madrid in 1955. He started his studies at the Conservatory of Madrid at the age of 14. From very early on in his career he immersed himself in jazz and was one of the founding members of the group Dolores (together with Pedro Ruy-Blas). Today, Jorge is regarded as one of the true leaders of a style of music that fuses flamenco with jazz. In fact, he is among the elite group of jazz figures from Spain with an international following.

Introduced to the world of professional flamenco at the hands of groundbreaking flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, he has acquired a new hybrid language between jazz “de raiz” (“from the roots”) and flamenco.

Jorge Pardo in the late 1980s – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Jorge Pardo’s style and technique on both flute and the sax is blazing new trails in this constantly developing music. In addition to his work in Sexteto by Paco de Lucia, he has collaborated with nearly every major figure in the world of flamenco; his resume includes concerts with Chick Corea and Astrid Gilberto, and Jorge is also a longtime collaborator with flamenco rock bands Ketama and La Barberia del Sur, further exploring the outer reaches of the rhythms of flamenco.

In 2013, Jorge Pardo received the award for Best European Jazz Musician, by the French Academy of Jazz.

In 2016, Pardo released the Djinn Metaflamenco project that delved into the essence of flamenco, takinge it beyond the confines of its current borders. The album featured Hammond organs, keyboards with acid sounds, powerful drums, electric bass and flamenco guitars joined by saxophoness and flutes (sometimes processed) and the contributions of Dj’s and producers working with samples of vintage singing.

In 2017, Djinn Metaflamenco won the Best flamenco album award at the Premios MIN, the elading indepedne t jusic awards in Spain.


Jorge Pardo (Blau, 1982)
El Canto De Los Guerreros (Linterna Música, 1983)
A Mi Aire (Nuevos Medios, 1987)
Las Cigarras Son Quizá Sordas (Nuevos Medios, 1991)
10 De Paco, with Chano Domínguez (Nuevos Medios, 1994)
De Dos En Dos (Nuevos Medios, 1995)
2332 (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Music For Ebbe: Live In San Sebastian (El Delirio, 1999)
El Concierto De Sevilla (Nuevos Medios, 2000)
Directo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2001)
Mira (Nuevos Medios, 2001)
Bouderbala, with Nass Marrakech and Omar Sosa (World Village, 2001)
Quid Pro Quo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2003)
Vientos Flamencos (Manantial De Músicas, 2005)
3dd’3 (Quadrant Records, 2006)
Desvaríos (RTVE Música, 2007)
Entre (MusiMagic, 2008)
Sin Precedentes (Nuevos Medios, 2008)
Vientos Flamencos 2 (Flamenco World Music, 2009)
Sobre la Marcha (CQuadrant Records, 2011)
Huellas (Cabra Road, 2012)
Puerta Del Sol (Nuba Records, 2013)
Historias de Radha y Krishna (Fol Música, 2014)
Djinn (Karonte, 2016)


Live At The Auditori Pau Casals, El Vendrell (Quadrant Records Q00002V 2007


Artist Profiles: Enzo Favata

Enzo Favata

Enzo Favata is one of the most active and well-known Sardinian musicians in the Italian and international panorama. He plays the saxophone and sopranino sax, as well as other wind instruments, above all ethnic ones from Sardinia. His research joins the arcane and the modern, experimenting with different languages and musical cultures.

Enzo Favata was born in the Sardinian city of Alghero in Northwest Sardinia. Curiosity moved him from playing in traditional bands to experimenting with electronic music and composing film music. Innumerable performances at festivals and awards followed.

In 1993, after having played traditional jazz for some years he debuted with a new quartet participating in the Festival Jazz di S.Anna Arresi: this group and the music which was proposed were the seeds of the Jana Project, which combined ethnic music with jazz improvisation and world music from other parts of the globe. In the live context there was interaction between acoustic instruments and samplers.

In 1992, Favata produced Jana. It documents the visionary landscape of musical mixing between that which is Sardinian and that of other cultures. During the same period he developed another project with guitarist Marcello Peghin and percussionist Roberto Pellegrini: Tangram Trio, an experimental group in the field of contemporary jazz and avant-garde music, halfway between minimalism, noise music and underground.

Alongside the concert experience was that of musical production for soundtracks working with RAI, radio and television, dance and theatre.At the beginning of 1993 he debuted as the composer of soundtracks for movies, putting his name to the music of a German film set in Sardinia “With love ….Fabia” by the Italian director Maria Teresa Camoglio, produced by Shram Film of Berlin. The experience was repeated in 1995 with the film by the director Antonello Grimaldi “The sky is ever bluer” presented in 1997 at 10 international film festivals including that of Berlin. This soundtrack is available on CD on the label San Isidro.

1995 marked the start of the collaboration with the label Robi Droli with which Islà was released– this work was recorded together with guitarist Marcello Peghin, tablista Federico Sanesi and Riccardo Tesi on the diatonic accordion. During that period Favata abandoned electronic music for the pure sounds of acoustic instruments. Islà determined and defined the stylistic character of Favata’s work which is inspired by travel.

1997 saw an important collaboration with a master of the Argentine bandoneon, Dino Saluzzi. This collaboration was recorded on the CD Ajò featuring an acoustic quintet. Its music crosses memories of emigration between Sardinia and Argentina. The collaboration with Saluzzi is currently continuing with a series of concerts.

Voyage in Sardaigne was released in 1998 for the label of the national newspaper “Il Manifesto”. This was the first album that Favata dedicated entirely to Sardinia: within this work the saxophone player involves and lets his music be performed by 32 musicians, amongst which the most important players of Sardinian folk music. Voyage en Sardaigne debuted as a show in the same year at the Festival of the Mediterranean Song at Palma de Mallorca, and then arrived in autumn at the prestigious Salon of Music in Turin, and the Book Show in Frankfurt and a concert at the Lyrical Theatre of Cagliari.


Tangos de La Tardor (LMJ, 1987)
Frammenti (autoprodotto, 1991)
Le quattro stagioni (autoprodotto, 1991)
Jana (Il ponte sonoro, 1992)
Islà (CGD, 1995)
Ajò (Robi Droli, 1997)
Voyage en Sardaigne (Robi Droli/Il Manifesto, 1998)
Atlantico – (Il Manifesto, 1999)
Boghes and Voices (Harmonia Mundi, 2001)
Made in Sardinia (CCn’c Records / Il Manifesto, 2003)
Crossing (IRD, 2004)
No man’s land (Sixelectrix Splasch Records, 2005)
The New Village (Il Manifesto, 2007)
Jeux D’Enfant (Comar 23, 2008)
Inner Roads (Jazzit Records, 2018)


Admired Saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón To Release New Single Milagrosa on August 10, 2018

Miguel Zenón – Milagrosa

Celebrated Puerto Rican saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón will release the single Milagrosa, introducing Zenón and the Chicago-based innovative Spektral Quartet on August 10, 2018.

The single is extracted from the upcoming album Yo Soy la Tradición, an ambitious concert-length work that draws upon the rich folk music traditions of Puerto Rico and expressed through the modernist lens of Zenón’s compositions.

The inspiration for “Milagrosa” comes from the religious practice of La Promesa, making a promise to La Virgen de La Milagrosa (Our Lady of Grace).

Commissioned by the David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Yo Soy la Tradición is a collection of eight works for alto saxophone and string quartet that showcase Zenón and the Spektral Quartet.



Next Zenón and Spektral Quartet Performances

Friday, September 21 -Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago, IL. Benefit concert for hurricane relief.
Saturday, September 22 – Ripon College, Ripon, WI
Wednesday, November 14 – UMASS Amherst, Amherst, MA
Thursday, November 15 – Villa Victoria Cultural Center, Boston, MA
Friday, November 16 – Kennedy Center Jazz Club, Washington, DC


Artist Profiles: Prasant Radhakrishnan

Prasant Radhakrishnan

Prasant Radhakrishnan is a saxophonist identified with both the South Indian Classical (Carnatic) Music and Jazz disciplines. Blessed with a legendary teacher (Kadri Gopalnath) and a strong tonal depth on the saxophone, Prasant caught the attention of audiences worldwide while still in high school. His style has been described as possessing technical fluidity as well as a mature depth of melodic phrasing beyond his years.

Due to the nature of his instrument and musicianship, Prasant has transformed several first-time listeners of South Indian music into enthusiasts. His performances have been described as captivating, fresh, soothing, gripping and profound by audiences and critics all over the world. His original compositions have also been featured in premiere concerts in the U.S. and abroad. His first album Swara Sudha, released in 2000, met with critical success both in the U.S. and India. Prasant Radhakrishnan continues to push the limits of the saxophone and improvisational music.

Prasant Radhakrishnan, is the youngest musician to receive the prestigious AIIS (American Institute of India Studies) Senior Performing Arts Fellowship in its history.


Swara Sudha (2000)
Duality (2005)
East Facing (2007)
VidyA (2008)
Kiravani: A Live Experience (2009)
Meditations: Ragas on Saxophone: Vol. 1 (2011)
Naada Samyama (2013)
Meditations: Ragas on Saxophone Vol. 2 (2015)


Artist Profiles: Yuri Yunakov

Yuri Yunakov

Saxophonist Yuri Yunakov was born in Haskovo, southeastern Bulgaria, of Turkish Romani (Gypsy) ancestry and currently lives in the New York City area. He comes from a long line of musicians in his extended family, including his father and grandfather and his uncles and brother. Yuri’s career began with the band Mladost and he later started a 10-year collaboration with Ivo Papazov and Trakija.

Yuri is Bulgaria’s most famous saxophonist. Together with the Trakija orchestra Yunakov played at hundreds of weddings in his native Bulgaria, and toured extensively in Europe and North America.

In 1989 he was featured on NBC TV with saxophonist David Sanborn. Yuri appears on the recording “Gypsy Fire”, a CD of Turkish music on Traditional Crossroads.

In 1994, Yunakov moved to the United States. He is the director of the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble, and is in great demand among the Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Armenian and Romani communities in the New York City area.

In 2011, Yunakov received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.


New Colors in Bulgarian Wedding Music (Traditional Crossroads, 1997)
Balada (Traditional Crossroads, 1999)
Roma Variations (Traditional Crossroads, 2001)
Together Again (Traditional Crossroads, 2003)


Artist Profiles: Trygve Seim

Trygve Seim – Photo by Antonio Armentano www.antarm.org

Inspired early in his creative life by Jan Garbarek and by Edward Vesala, Trygve Seim has worked in many modern jazz contexts, and continues to tour with Manu Katché’s group.

In his own music, however, distance from conventional definitions of jazz becomes ever more marked. Investigation of Asian, Middle Eastern and East European music – and especially the sounds of the Armenian duduk, the Japanese shakuhachi, and the Indian bansuri flute – have had their effect on Seim’s music and brought about a redefining of the nature of dynamics. Subtle shadings and textures are part of his diversity, and microtonal phrasing characteristic of his melodic approach.

In additional to his discography as a leader and as a member of The Source, Trygve Seim appears on ECM recordings by Iro Haarla (Northbound), Sinikka Langeland (Starflowers), Christian Wallumrød (Sofienberg Variations), and Manu Katché (Playground). Other recent activities have included extended stays in Cairo, where Seim studied Arabian modes and played concerts with pianist Fathy Salama.

Trygve Seim – Photo by Antonio Armentano www.antarm.org

Seim frequently collaborates with accordionist Frode Haltli, with whom he shares an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries, from world folk traditions to contemporary composition. The accordionist joined Seim’s large ensemble for live performances after the release of Different Rivers in 2000, and participated in the recording of later that year, as well as Sangam (recorded 2002-2004). He continues to tour regularly with Seim’s large ensemble. Trygve and Frode have been playing in duo since 2001. Yeraz is the first documentation of their work in this format.

Seim’s ECM debut Different Rivers won the annual prize of the German Record Critics (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2001).


* Airamero, with Christian Wallumrød, Johannes Eick, Per Oddvar Johansen (ODIN Records NJ 40492, 1994)
* http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008FHPC?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00008FHPC | Olemanns kornett, with The Source (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 1994)
* The Source: of Christmas, with The Source (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 1996)
* Decoy, with Havard Lund, Njål Ølnes and Audun Kleive (Turn Left Productions TURNCD497, 1998)
* The MotorSource Massacre, with Motorpsycho and The Source (Stickman Records 3RD EAR 0200, 2000)
* Different Rivers (ECM Records ECM 1744, 2001)
* Live In The North, with 1300 Oslo (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 2001)
* The Source and Different Cikadas, with Øyvind Brække and Per Oddvar Johansen (ECM Records , ECM 1764, 2002)
* Sangam (ECM Records ECM 1797, 2004)
* The Source, with The Source (ECM Records ECM 1966, 2006)
* The Source: of Christmas – “Live” (GRAPPA Records GRCD 4215, 2007)
* Yeraz, with Frode Haltli (ECM Records ECM 2044, 2008)
* Purcor (ECM Records ECM 2186, 2010)
* Rumi Songs (ECM Records ECM 2449, 2016)

Web site www.trygveseim.no


Artist Profiles: Paquito D’Rivera

Paquito D’Rivera

Born in the island of Cuba, Paquito D’Rivera began his career as a child prodigy, playing both the clarinet and the saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra He eventually went on to premier several works by notable Cuban composers with the same Orchestra.

A restless musical genius, Mr. D’Rivera formed and performed with various musical ensembles as a teenager and became one of the founding members of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, which he subsequently conducted for two years and was also founding member and co-director of the innovative musical group Irakere, whose explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical music and traditional Cuban music had never been heard before. The group toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations and a Grammy.

In May of 2003, he received a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Music, from the Berklee School of Music, adding this to his many numerous awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award for his Contribution to Latin Music along with Dizzy Gillespie and Gato Barbieri.

In addition to his awards and recognitions, including six Grammys, Paquito made history for being the first artist to win Latin Grammies in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories, for Stravinsky’s Historia del Soldado and “Brazilian Dreams with New York Voices” in 2003, the other historic recipient is Wynton Marsalis.

In 1996, he received a Grammy for his highly acclaimed recording, Portraits of Cuba. In 2000 for his Tropicana Nights, along with a nomination in the classical category for his Music from Two Worlds, featuring compositions by Schubert, Brahms, Guastavino, Villa Lobos, and by Mr. D’Rivera himself.

In 2001 Grammy for his Quintet’s recording of Live at the Blue Note. He was also nominated in the Classical Crossover category for The Clarinetist, Vol. 1. In 2002, he won again as a guest artist on the recording of the Bebo Valdes Trio.

While Paquito’s discography includes over 30 solo albums in Jazz, Bebop and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are impressive. They include solo performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, and with Brooklyn Philharmonic, the London Royal Symphony, and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, the St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Costa Rican National Symphony, and the Sim?n Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Paquito also keeps busy by frequently touring around the world with his ensembles: the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band and the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, and in the 2005 with the guitar duo of Sergio and Odair Assad, in “Dances from the New World”.

In his quest to bring the Latin repertoire into the forefront of the classical arena, Paquito has successfully created, championed and promoted all types of classical compositions!, including three chamber pieces composed by Paquito, recorded by Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito, live at Zankell Hall, Carnegie Hall, September, 2003.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, Paquito has rapidly gained a reputation as an accomplished composer. His works often reveals his versatility and widespread influences, which range from Afro-Cuban to the dance hall, to influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins.

In 2002, The National Symphony Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic commissioned Paquito, to write a concerto “Gran Danzon” (The Bel Air Concerto) for the acclaimed flutist Marina Piccinini under the baton of Maestro Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

A gifted author, Mr. D’Rivera’s book, My Sax Life was published in Spain by the prestigious literary house, Seix Barral and contains a prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. It’s been translated into English, published by Northwestern University Press. You can also listen to it in Mr. D’Rivera’s own voice by Recorded Books in Spanish available in the Internet and in libraries alike. His novel Oh, La Habana is published in Spain by MTeditores, Barcelona.


Artist Profiles: Jan Garbarek

Jan Garbarek

Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek adopted the sounds of jazz, classical and world music at a very early age. He has collaborated with artists from various folk traditions, including India and Brazil, as well as age-old European traditions, including his remarkable partnership with the Hilliard Ensemble.

Jan Garbarek was born March 4, 1947, in Mysen, Norway. At the age of 14, he heard John Coltrane on the radio and experienced a kind of epiphany. He immediately bought himself a saxophone instruction book and learned fingering positions, even before he had bought a horn.

Knowledge of Coltrane’s interest in Ravi Shankar, brought Garbarek to an awareness of Indian music as early as 1963. From the Coltrane Quartet, the young Norwegian learned about the dynamics of the band, and the internal relationship of the instruments. Coltrane’s endorsement of the freest spirits of the New Thing fired Garbarek’s appreciation of Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and especially Albert Ayler.

Scandinavia at that time was a haven for American musicians. Garbarek grasped opportunities to hear, and learn from, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Johnny Griffin. In 1964, he had a chance to play with Don Cherry, whose embracing of world folk traditions in his unique variety of free jazz was another significant influence. Most important in this formative period was the association with American composer and pianist George Russell.

In 1967 he joined the Scandinavian orchestra led by US avant-garde composer George Russell, and in 1970 worked in the USA for a while under such leaders as Keith Jarrett and Don Cherry.

In 1969 Manfred Eicher, in the process of establishing ECM Records, invited Garbarek to record for his new label. The album Afric Pepperbird was taped in Oslo in 1970 and effectively put the young saxophonist on the map, along with his fellow band members. This was the start of a exceptional relationship between Garbarek and ECM which continues to this day.

Afric Pepperbird was the first of many ECM recordings to be produced in Oslo. It was the beginning of the creative alliance between Eicher and sound engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.

In the 1980s Garbarek created several groups, which included bassist Eberhard Weber, John Abercrombie and at various times guitarists Bill Frisell and David Torn. During that decade he began a series of world music collaborations. In 1984, Garbarek recorded with Ravi Shankar on Song For Everyone.

The landmark album Rosensfole came out in 1991. This now legendary ECM album features Garbarek together with Norwegian folk singer Agnes Buen Garn?s. The international collaborations continued with Ragas & Sagas (1993), where Garbarek collaborated with the Pakistani Qawwali singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. That same year, Garbarek recorded Twelve Moons, which focused, yet again on Scandinavian folk melodies.

Officium, released in 1993, features Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, with a musical concept that simultaneously reached up into the Jazz, Classical, and Pop charts. In 1998, five years after the recording of “Officium”, the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek returned to the monastery of St Gerold to renew, in the words of singer John Potter, their “encounter with the unknown.”

The result was a very beautiful double album, Mnemosyne. It was wider in scope than its predecessor, and the improvised component of the music was expanded. The repertoire spanned 22 centuries, from the “Delphic Paean” of Athenaeus to the “Estonian Lullaby” of Veljo Tormis, via folk song fragments from North and South America and Spain, freely developed, as well as pieces by Tallis, Dufay, Brumel, Hildegard von Bingen, Jan Garbarek, a Russian psalm, a Scottish ballad of the 16th century, and much more. “We did it for each other in the absence of an audience, and these are complete one-off performances which will never sound the same again.”

In 1998 Jan Garbarek released another double album entitled Rites. It suggested initiations, rituals, the archaic, the magical, but also “rites of passage”, and the Norwegian saxophonist reflected, in his choice of material, upon pivotal episodes and influences in his own life and those of his associates.

Pieces included a tribute to Don Cherry and reworkings of the Garbarek classics “It’s OK to listen to the gray voice” and “So mild the wind, so meek the water”. There were abundant references to scattered musics of the world, from Norway to India, as well as a setting – for voices and saxophone – of a Native American poem, and the surprise inclusion of Jansug Kakhidze’s “The moon over Mtatsminda”, sung by its composer with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. In total, this was the most comprehensive recording Jan Garbarek had made to date.

Garbarek compiled a double album of Selected Recordings for ECM’s :rarum anthology series in 2001. “This retrospective compilation represents 30 wonderful years of my life…. I hope as you listen that you will, in some measure, hear the joy I’ve had making each of these recordings.”

Garbarek’s double album traces the growth of his own groups, his collaborations with a wide range of musicians – from Keith Jarrett to the Hilliard Ensemble – and his investigations of Nordic and other folk traditions.

In 2003 Garbarek appeared, alongside Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette and John McLaughlin, on Miroslav Vitous’s widely-acclaimed Universal Syncopations.

In 2004, Garbarek played with Kim Kashkashian on Tigran Mansurian’s Monodia, a recording that also features Leonidas Kavakos, the Hilliard Ensemble, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra under Christoph Poppen.

On the album In Praise of Dreams (2004) , Garbarek emphasized his capacity as composer, orchestrator and arranger, proposing new colors and textures in its blending of acoustic and electronic elements. “I think more in terms of evolution than revolution,” Jan Garbarek says, “the changes in the music taking place slowly over time, but there are some surprises here.”

Although the trio heard on the disc is unprecedented, there is also a logic to the unorthodox line-up. In Praise of Dreams features two musicians with whom Jan Garbarek has some history – American-Armenian violist Kim Kashkashian and African-French drummer Manu Katch?.

The use of loops and samples had only occasionally appeared on earlier Garbarek albums (“All Those Born With Wings”, “Visible World”), although they are a hallmark of music Garbarek has written for film, theatre and ballet.

The most striking aspect of In Praise of Dreams, however, is the interweaving melodies of saxophone and viola. “I was really overwhelmed by the life and the depth that Kim brought to the lines that I presented to her…The way she plays the viola, the sensibility of the phrasing, all the subtleties and nuances of her sound production, it’s very close to the way I’d like to play saxophone. There seems to be a very good connection between our timbres, too, which was even more than I had hoped for. The richness in her sound brings the music to another level and gives me something to reach for, in my improvisations. It was inspiring to work with her.”

Describing Kim Kashkashian as “a very powerful new agent in my music-making“, Garbarek added that “her strong sound had come to define the viola in a new way for me. I’d had many opportunities to listen to her music on ECM recordings through the years, in chamber music or orchestral contexts.”

Jan Garbarek first became aware of African-French drummer Manu Katche after hearing his sparse, unorthodox beat propelling the most striking tracks on Robbie Robertson’s 1987 solo album. Producer Manfred Eicher put Garbarek and Katche in touch with each other.

Katche, it transpired, had long been a follower of Garbarek’s music (“his records filled my adolescence”). Manu Katche joined ECM’s 20th Anniversary concerts in Paris, played in trio with Garbarek and Indian violinist Shankar (saxophone, strings, drums – not so far from the In Praise of Dreams concept ) at La Cigale in October 1989, and joined the Jan Garbarek Group for several tours. He appeared on four subsequent albums with Jan – I Took Up The Runes, Ragas and Sagas, Twelve Moons and Visible World, prior to In Praise of Dreams.

Manu has many qualities as a player. He can do many things, but much of his playing is pattern oriented. He’s looking for just the right drum pattern to fit a piece of music and he’ll stay with that, but vary it in minimalistic ways with dynamics and attack. Rather than breaking loose to play soloistically, he maintains the ambience he’s created. Now, I love all the old jazz drummers, like Jo Jones, for example, or Gene Krupa, and they were also more pattern oriented rather than freely expressive in the way that most contemporary jazz drummers are. And it’s something I’ve missed. Manu has that quality in his approach, but also a very elegant sophistication, a poetic sensitivity.”

Garbarek attributes the overall shape of the album to its producer. “When it comes to organizing the pieces as a whole, that’s difficult for me, because I’m bound up in the details of each individual tune. The best ideas for that usually come from Manfred Eicher. Hearing these pieces during the mix he very quickly had an idea about the dramaturgy. He sees the whole more spontaneously, and I trust him 100 % in this. I’d tried all kinds of way to put these pieces together, but once Manfred suggested an order, everything fell into place – not for the first time.”

The album’s title was borrowed from the poem “In Praise of Dreams” by Wislawa Syzmborska, which begins, in the English translation, “In my dreams/I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

Partial Discography

* Esoteric Circle, with Terje Rypdal (Freedom FLP/CD 41031, 1969)
* Afric Pepperbird (ECM 1007, 1970)
* Sart, with Stenson and Rypdal (ECM 1015, 1971)
* Triptykon, with Arild Andersen and Edward Vesala (ECM 1029, 1972)
* Red Lanta, with Art Lande (ECM 1038, 1973)
* Witchi-Tai-To, with Bobo Stenson Quartet (ECM 1041, 1973)
* Luminessence, with Keith Jarrett (ECM 1049, 1974)
* Dansere, with Bobo Stenson Quartet (ECM 1075, 1975)
* Dis (ECM 1093, 1976)
* Places (ECM 1118, 1977)
* Photo with Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows and a Red Roof (ECM 1135, 1978)
* Magico, with Charlie Haden and Egberto Gismonti (ECM 1151, 1979)
* Aftenland, with Kjell Johnsen (ECM 1169, 1979)
* Folk Song, with Charlie Haden and Egberto Gismonti (ECM 1170, 1979)
* Eventyr (ECM 1200, 1980)
* Paths: Prints (ECM 1223, 1981)
* Wayfarer (ECM 1259, 1983)
* It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice (ECM 1294, 1984)
* All Those Born With Wings (ECM 1324, 1986)
* Legend of The Seven Dreams (ECM 1381, 1988)
* Rosensfole, with Agnes Buen Garnas (ECM 1402, 1988)
* I Took Up The Runes (ECM 1419, 1990)
* Ragas and Sagas, with Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and musicians from Pakistan (ECM 1442, 1990)
* Star, with Miroslav Vitous and Erskine (ECM 1444, 1991)
* Atmos, with Miroslav Vitous (ECM 1475, 1992)
* Madar (ECM 1515, 1992)
* Twelve Moons (ECM 1500, 1992)
* Officium, with The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM 1525, 1993)
* Visible World (ECM 1585, 1995)
* Rites, 2-CD (ECM 1685/86, 1998)
* Mnemosyne, with The Hilliard Ensemble, 2-CD (ECM 1700/01, 1998)
* Rarum 2: Selected Recordings (ECM, 2002)
* In Praise of Dreams (ECM, 2004)
* Dresden (ECM Records, 2009)
* Officium Novum, with the Hilliard Ensemble (2010)
* Résumé, with Eberhard Weber (ECM, 2012)
* Magico: Carta de Amor, with Charlie Haden (ECM. 2012)
* Concert in Athens, with Eleni Karaindrou (ECM, 2013)

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