Friday, May 05, 2006
Recorded April 24th-25th, 1974
1. Spiral Dance
3. 'Long As You Know You're Living Yours
2. The Windup
JAN GARBAREK; tenor & soprano saxes
KEITH JARRETT; piano
PALLE DANIELSSON; bass
JON CHRISTENSEN; drums
It wasn't always Nordic folk songs round at ECM records. The early years of the label (founded by Manfred Eicher in 1969) saw releases full of energy and colour. Jarrett and Garbarek both had significant avant-garde pedigrees by the time they came to record for the label, and both bring their distinct personalities to this 1974 session. Jarrett had played with Miles in the early 70s but was forging his own direction at this time. His sound was characterised by a strong rhythmic sensibility within the usual improvisatory framework. He really brings a sense of rhythm to the music on this record, especially the opening 'Spiral Dance' with it's circular piano figure underpinning the soloists.
Garbarek's previous few albums (like the outstanding Triptykon) mined a more avant-garde seam, with influences like Albert Ayler and late period John Coltrane to the fore. But at the time of this recording Garbarek was moving towards a greater melodic accessibility, a transformation that would be complete by the release of 1975's 'Dansere'. The only change in lineup for that album is the swapping of Jarrett for Bobo Stenson, a change that gives the later recording a far more meditative feel.
The group dynamic on this recording is thoroughly democratic. From the equal billing on the record sleeve to the sharing out of solo space, everything is shared equally. The compositions are all Jarrett's, but he doesn't dominate throughout. He'd have plenty opportunity to do that later in his career. This composition bias leads to the record often being listed under Jarrett's name, but that's just to satisfy the classifiers out there.