Post-Fusion Contemporary / World Fusion / Avant-Garde Jazz / Third Stream / Post Bop / Fusion • Norway
Jazz music community with review and forums
Saxophonist whose icy, contemplative style epitomizes ECM Records' high-quality improvisational art music.

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 began recording for ECM in the early '70s and, although he had opportunities to play with Chick Corea and Don Cherry, his association with Keith Jarrett's European quartet in the mid-'70s made him famous, resulting in the classic recordings My Song and Belonging. In the '80s, Garbarek's
Thanks to silent way for the addition and snobb for the updates

JAN GARBAREK Online Videos

See all JAN GARBAREK videos


More places to buy jazz & JAN GARBAREK music

JAN GARBAREK Discography

JAN GARBAREK albums / top albums

JAN GARBAREK George Russell Presents Esoteric Circle album cover 4.02 | 4 ratings
George Russell Presents Esoteric Circle
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
JAN GARBAREK Afric Pepperbird album cover 4.29 | 14 ratings
Afric Pepperbird
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
JAN GARBAREK SART (with Bobo Stenson / Terje Rypdal / Arild Andersen / Jon Christensen) album cover 4.05 | 10 ratings
SART (with Bobo Stenson / Terje Rypdal / Arild Andersen / Jon Christensen)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
JAN GARBAREK Triptykon (with Arild Andersen & Edward Vesala) album cover 3.93 | 8 ratings
Triptykon (with Arild Andersen & Edward Vesala)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
JAN GARBAREK Witchi-Tai-To album cover 3.71 | 12 ratings
Post Bop 1974
JAN GARBAREK Dansere album cover 3.17 | 7 ratings
Post Bop 1976
JAN GARBAREK Dis album cover 3.75 | 6 ratings
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1977
JAN GARBAREK Places album cover 4.31 | 7 ratings
Fusion 1978
JAN GARBAREK Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof album cover 3.67 | 9 ratings
Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1979
JAN GARBAREK Jan Garbarek, Kjell Johnsen : Aftenland album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Jan Garbarek, Kjell Johnsen : Aftenland
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1980
JAN GARBAREK Eventyr album cover 3.30 | 5 ratings
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1981
JAN GARBAREK Paths, Prints album cover 3.86 | 7 ratings
Paths, Prints
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1982
JAN GARBAREK Wayfarer album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1983
JAN GARBAREK It's OK To Listen To The Grey Voice album cover 4.42 | 11 ratings
It's OK To Listen To The Grey Voice
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1985
JAN GARBAREK All Those Born With Wings album cover 3.92 | 4 ratings
All Those Born With Wings
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1987
JAN GARBAREK Legend of the Seven Dreams album cover 4.20 | 6 ratings
Legend of the Seven Dreams
World Fusion 1988
JAN GARBAREK I Took Up the Runes album cover 3.65 | 8 ratings
I Took Up the Runes
World Fusion 1990
JAN GARBAREK Star (with Miroslav Vitous, Peter Erskine) album cover 3.91 | 8 ratings
Star (with Miroslav Vitous, Peter Erskine)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1991
JAN GARBAREK Ragas And Sagas (Ustad Fateh Ali Khan & Musicians From Pakistan) album cover 3.25 | 7 ratings
Ragas And Sagas (Ustad Fateh Ali Khan & Musicians From Pakistan)
World Fusion 1992
JAN GARBAREK Twelve Moons album cover 3.31 | 12 ratings
Twelve Moons
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1993
JAN GARBAREK Officium (with The Hilliard Ensemble) album cover 3.74 | 8 ratings
Officium (with The Hilliard Ensemble)
Third Stream 1994
JAN GARBAREK Madar (with Anouar Brahem - Ustad Shaukat Hussain) album cover 4.26 | 8 ratings
Madar (with Anouar Brahem - Ustad Shaukat Hussain)
World Fusion 1994
JAN GARBAREK Visible World album cover 3.83 | 10 ratings
Visible World
World Fusion 1996
JAN GARBAREK Rites album cover 4.32 | 11 ratings
World Fusion 1998
JAN GARBAREK Mnemosyne (with The Hilliard Ensemble) album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
Mnemosyne (with The Hilliard Ensemble)
Third Stream 1999
JAN GARBAREK In Praise of Dreams album cover 3.83 | 9 ratings
In Praise of Dreams
World Fusion 2004
JAN GARBAREK Officium Novum (with The Hilliard Ensemble) album cover 4.03 | 6 ratings
Officium Novum (with The Hilliard Ensemble)
Third Stream 2010


JAN GARBAREK live albums

JAN GARBAREK Til Vigdis album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Til Vigdis
Avant-Garde Jazz 1967
JAN GARBAREK Dresden: In Concert album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Dresden: In Concert
World Fusion 2009
JAN GARBAREK Magico: Carta de Amor (with Egberto Gismonti/Charlie Haden) album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Magico: Carta de Amor (with Egberto Gismonti/Charlie Haden)
World Fusion 2012
JAN GARBAREK Jan Garbarek and The Hillard Ensemble : Remember me, my dear album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Jan Garbarek and The Hillard Ensemble : Remember me, my dear
Third Stream 2019

JAN GARBAREK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JAN GARBAREK re-issues & compilations

JAN GARBAREK Works album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1984
JAN GARBAREK Selected Recordings - Rarum II album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Selected Recordings - Rarum II
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2002
JAN GARBAREK Dansere (Compilation) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Dansere (Compilation)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2012

JAN GARBAREK singles (0)

JAN GARBAREK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 1978 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard

For many years, this album was not available on CD, and was very hard to find. Now that it has been re-issued, listeners and collectors can finally hear this very successful pairing of the saxophones of Jan Garbarek with the organ of John Taylor. This album was recorded in December 1977, mere weeks after the very prolific Garbarek played on Keith Jarrett's My Song. He also appears on Gary Peacock's December Poems and Bill Connors' Of Mist and Melting, both of which were recorded at the same time. That's four full-length albums in less than three months, and Places is definitely the best of the four.

There is no double bass on Places, but the album doesn't suffer for it. Three of the four lengthy compositions open with Taylor's ethereal organ. "Reflections" is a two-part epic: "part one" features Garbarek's slow-building phrases, Bill Connors' softly picked acoustic guitar, and Jack DeJohnette's mystical cymbals. Suddenly the tempo picks up for "part two". Taylor contributes background colors over Garbarek's best blaring tone while Connors takes a solo over DeJohnette's louder, more vibrant drums. "Entering" is the shortest and most accessible track. Garbarek plays plaintively, nostalgically over Connors' acoustic guitar. DeJohnette enters halfway through, and the song closes peacefully with a short coda. In spite of brilliant performances, "Going Places" is just a little unfocussed, with a few too many mood changes. After a busy DeJohnette opening (this is his best playing on the album) and much shrill Garbarek soloing, this track moves into much slower, more atmospheric territory. There's also a great Connors solo and a drum-and-organ duet before Taylor switches to percussive piano for the only time on this album. "Passing" has Connors introducing the melody before Garbarek joins in over Taylor's organ cadences. This more subdued, almost bluesy track closes the album with Garbarek's best deep guttural groans and DeJohnette playing military drum patterns.

So where does Places fit within the Jan Garbarek catalog? It's not an earth-shaking, all-time classic like Witchi-Tai-To, or an openly experimental album like Dis or All Those Born With Wings. It's not as accessible as Photo with... or It's Okay to Listen to the Gray Voice, or as introspective as Paths, Prints. There's a similar feel on Places to some of Terje Rypdal's work from the same time period without ever digressing into the early-1970s avant-garde sound. And it's much better than Dansere, Eventyr, or Wayfarer. All this adds up to...highly recommended!

JAN GARBAREK Paths, Prints

Album · 1982 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard

The cover photo, by Petra Nettelbeck, is almost an ECM cliché: a long, empty road stretching off into nowhere beneath a clouded sky. The music contained within, however, is not. Released in 1982, Paths, Prints is one of Jan Garbarek's most atmospheric and introspective albums. "The Path", "Footprints" (with ethnic percussion and wood flute), "The Move", and "Arc" are all Garbarek classics. This album introduced guitarist Bill Frisell to a wider ECM audience (he had previously appeared on a very obscure Eberhard Weber album, Fluid Rustle, in 1979), and was also the first of three album appearances by Weber as Garbarek's sideman after breaking up his Colours band.

From the soprano showpiece "Kite Dance", to the wistful "To B.E." (Bill Evans, perhaps?), to the moody "Considering the Snail", to the (seemingly) improvised "Still", Paths, Prints can definitely be classified among the upper echelon of Jan Garbarek albums. Some will no doubt complain this album is too "slow", or that drummer Jon Christensen is given too little to do. Yet for those who enjoy Garbarek's sax lines that threaten to extend indefinitely, or are long-time listeners to the hypnotic timbres of Frisell or Weber, this album is highly recommended. Not an introductory work for the uninitiated, but yes, a great Sunday afternoon album.


Live album · 1967 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
I believe you have never heard saxophonist Jan Garbarek sounding like this! Nothing strange there, most jazz fans have no idea this album exists!

The twenty-year old future Norwegian saxophone superstar is playing in a student club on "Til Vigdis". The album consists of three very free compositions with enough kicking and swinging to be recognized as post-65 Coltrane music influenced. The rhythm section (bassist Arild Andersen and drummer Jon Christensen) are both future Nordic jazz leading figures as well.

Not particularly memorable or musically exciting, this album is unique as probably one of the earlier European free jazz albums(the only earlier European free jazz album I know is Manfred Schoof debut), and it also shows Garbarek's early influences as well. He will show much higher class on his next release, "African Pepperbird", but for those who only know Garbarek as a new-agey contemporary Nordic jazz star, this album could open their eyes (and may be ears). This original limited edition is really an expensive rarity though, with i-net prices up to 1500 euro.


Album · 1976 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Witchi-Tai-To was Garbarek's first move from experimental sounds to more conventional areas and also his biggest commercial success of the decade. His reformed quartet (with old collaborators Jon Christensen on drums and Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson, plus the more conservative bassist Palle Danielsson instead of Arild Andersen) became the support band for Keith Jarrett's European quartet (where Jarrett changed Stenson). After two years of work with Jarrett and some recordings, Garbarek returns with "Dansere" - his second album, recorded with Stenson, Christensen and Danielsson on board.

There is only two years of distance between the two albums, but a lot of experience and influence from Jarrett's music is evident. If Jarrett left the European quartet for a long-lasting series of technically perfect, but too often soulless and cold concert/studio releases with polished sound. Garbarek, with the rest of the quartet did almost the same but in his own manner. Dansere is the next step away from the adventurous past of his first four albums, and towards a more commercial "ECM sound", still with visible post-bop roots and rare free jazz licks here and there, but the decision was done for sure - and it shows. Starting from here, Garbarek's saxophone sound will stay clear and straight for years, if not decades, and he will become the idol of European world music (not world jazz) and intelligent new age.

This album itself isn't so bad, still - sometimes a bit faceless and toothless, it has its moments and comparing it with what will come after very soon, it still could attract Garbarek's fans interest.

JAN GARBAREK Visible World

Album · 1996 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
This one when released back in 1996 appealled to the World Music fans just as much as all the Jazz afficiandos which is how I first heard the album "Visible World" being played on a specialist World Music program which is hardly surprising when one looks at the personnel being primarily multi-national percussion members but on the last track we also have Mari Boine on vocal who specialises in her own native Sami music being one of the native people who live within or near the Artic of Northern Scandanavia but Mari Boine is not strictly traditional either but has taken a contempary approach by adding Rock and Jazz elements to her native Sami music and she appears on the album closer only. The percussion members of the band are world renowned with Marilyn Masur providing percussion and drums who is US. born but considered Danish today with drummer Manu Katche' who originally hails from the Ivory Coast but French based and first really got going when he appeared with Peter Gabriel but that list has enlarged quite a degree of who he has accompanied today. Last but not least we also have Trilok Gurtu from India providing Tabla and he could be rated with his experience another percussion "El Supremo" like the other two if not better. They do not appear all together but only on various tracks separately with Marilyn Mazur providing the majority of the drum work. Eberhard Weber is on bass and anybody who listens to European Jazz will know this name and this is album number eight supporting Jan Garbarek for him. Absolutely beautiful player if you have never heard him and he has appeared on many great ECM productions over the years with numerous other artists as well as dabbling with Kate Bush on a regular basis. Another big one from Europe is here too, being Rainer Bruninghaus on piano and synth who has been with Jan as well eight years at this time and a myriad of other artists on the ECM roster including Eberhard as well. The main man Jan Garbarek really needs no introduction but he plays a bit of a mix on this but he still is saxophone primarily with some beautiful soprano solo's and a little tenor but he also has a shot on a Meraaker clarinet ( traditional Norwegian) with the addition of keyboards and percussion.

"Red Wind" the album opener is quite simply beautiful with Marilyn Mazur just using shakers for percussion and the addition of keyboards underneath the soprano sax emnating from Jan Garbarek which just soars throughout the composition hitting the high points like a razor thats just cuts through and it is the case with the following "The Creek" but this time Manu Katche' is drumming and once again Jan Garbarek's soprano saxophone pierces the room with that gorgeous tone and these are my favourite compositions from the album which does cause I feel a problem with both being great numbers maybe it would have been wiser to put one in the middle of the album sequencing. The music is great that follows being Jazz but as the two opening tracks are almost theme based it is difficult to come back down to the following number "The Survivor" with its slow opening spacy opening and although Jan sounds great on tenor things just drop and the album has to work to get back. Still the composition does improve with some very interesting bass provided by Eberhard. The album is comprised of four different projects combined with the majority comprising five compositions being from "Mangas Colarados Suite" concerning the Chiriacahua Apache and Jan really provides a beautiful interruptation as with track four "Healing Wind" which follows. The title "Visible World" has been divided into two sections by opening and closing "Desolate Mountains" parts one and two with "Desolate Mountains" being the best section and Rainer Bruninghaus on piano is superb with Jan on soprano adding a slight touch of Avante but still he brings back that world influence as his notes climb higher throughout in this piece. Also there is a short if you like coda of "Desolate Mountains" again in the album being number three."Pygmy Lullaby", "The Quest" ,"The Arrow" and "The Scythe" follow with "The Arrow" having Jan on Meraaker clarinet and this is another one taken from the Apache Suite as was "The Quest" and again are album highlights. The album closer "Evening Land" is one right out of the gate with Maire Boine bringing that Sami percussion and rythmn with her native vocals throughout this 12 minute piece with Jan Garbarek's soprano wailing all over it with the intensity continually building throughout as the number does come back down towards the end unfortunately.

Soprano saxophone rules here and it is played like nobody else can with that Garbarek slicing tone that pierces beautifully and the addition of the mixed styles of percussion have added great flavour but although there are some stunning compositions with all bar one being written by Jan Garbarek and Maire Boine co -writing the last they don't seem to gel at times throughout the album. Still there are some absolute beauties with track one and two stealing the show literally.

JAN GARBAREK Movies Reviews

No JAN GARBAREK movie reviews posted yet.


Please login to post a shout
js wrote:
6 hours ago
The ECM CD lists it as a Jarrett album, so it has been moved to his discog. Anybody who rated the old entry can go ahead and rate it again.
Mssr_Renard wrote:
1 year ago
I have this album in my collection, and I file it under Garbarek. By listening to it, it also belongs in the
'Garbarek'-category and not in the Jarrett-category. But I am not a big fan of both. Not a big fan of the whole ECM-sound, so I could and my be wrong.

I think I own it because of Jon Christensen, because I liked the album 'Blow Out'.

js wrote:
1 year ago
Technically it could go either way, its all Jarret's music and this was called his European Quartet at the time. Some other sites give this album to Jarrett and some to Garbarek. I think either one is correct.
snobb wrote:
1 year ago
Garbarek's name is stated first on the album's cover
karolcia wrote:
1 year ago
Shouldn't 'Belonging be filed under Keith Jarrett?
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The arrangements are Garbarek's but I understand the rules
snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
You're twice right here - it's not much jazz, but main reason is it's Agnes Buen Gamas album,not Garbarek's. If it would be his album, it would be added without relation to genre, but now the only way to add it is if Agnes Buen Gamas would be approved for addition, what hardly happens.
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
What about 'Rosenfole'? It is listed under Agnes Buen Gamas and it's not exactly jazz so probably she doesn't belong here, but it's still a Jan Garbarek collaboration
snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Shouldn't 'Officium' be filed under Third Stream?
snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
agree - changed
idlero wrote:
more than 2 years ago
IMHO Mnemosyne belongs to Third Stream and not to World Fusion


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Dell, Lillinger, Westergaard : DLW Extended Beats Avant-Garde Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
No Words Needed Latin Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Star Eyes
js· 11 hours ago
Bags' groove
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us