It’s OK To Listen to the Gray VoiceAlbum | Jan Garbarek By Jim Allen
Ambient jazz and airy fusion.
This album complicates the preconceptions of those who insist that Jan Garbarek simply floated away on a cloud of New Age fluff sometime in the mid '80s. While much of this 1985 release finds the Norwegian sax stylist in a cool, contemplative mode, Garbarek's visceral interactions with guitarist David Torn give considerably more teeth to the proceedings than much of the former's subsequent work. But in addition to the sonic roughage Torn brings to the menu - imagine Bill Frisell, guitarist on Garbarek's preceding release Wayfarer, in an irritable mood - it's still the saxophonist's show. As always, Garbarek's rich, multi-textured tone and artful, unhurried phrasing are at the forefront, and the searching, poetic qualities of his playing are underlined by a connection to an actual poet. The titles of the album and each of the songs all come from the work of renowned Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer. In the context of the album's blend of ambient jazz and brainy-but-airy fusion, titles like "White Noise of Forgetfulness" and "One Day In March I Go Down to the Sea and Listen" seem especially apropos.
|Listening to the Gray Voice|