Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Sax on a stick

Last night marypcb and I went to see Jan Garbarek at the RFH on the South Bank. If you've heard anything on the ECM record label, you'll have an idea of the sort of music he plays. Somewhere there is a Venn diagram that mixes ambient, jazz and classical, with the ECM label right there in the intersection of all those sets. Garbarek's music epitomises the ECM sound, with his ethereal sax vocalising over Eberhard Weber's electric double bass, Rainer Bruninghaus's keyboards and the energetic percussion of the non-stop Marilyn Mazur.

The concert wasn't a long one, 4 pieces (mainly based on music from Rites) and two encores. But it was engrossing. The skill of the musicians, and the intimate nature of the RFH's main hall (despite its size) kept eyes on the stage. Mazur bounced around her array of percussion instruments, while Weber layered digital loops of sound through his system, turning one double bass into a whole orchestra. At one point Bruninghaus began to play the strings of the piano, producing a tortured sound that echoed through the hall, and pushed the music on and on...

Way back, back when my online persona was and I was starting to make my fledgling way in fandom, I wrote a poem about a jazz concert I went to. While Jan Garbarek isn't Barbara Thompson, there's still something in the sound of the saxophone that keeps drawing me back.
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