Label: ECM Records – ECM 1007
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: W. Germany - Released: 1970
Style: Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded on September 22 and 23, 1970 at the Bendiksen Studio, Oslo.
Design [Cover Design] – B & B Wojirsch
Engineer – Jan Erik Kongshaug
Photography By – Terje Engh
Producer – Manfred Eicher
A1 – Scarabée (Jan Garbarek) . . . 6:15
A2 - Mah-Jong (Arild Andersen) . . . 1:50
A3 - Beast Of Kommodo (Jan Garbarek) . . . 12:30
B1 - Blow Away Zone (Jan Garbarek) . . . 8:35
B2 – MYB (Arild Andersen) . . . 1:50
B3 – Concentus (Arild Andersen) . . . 0:47
B4 - Afric Pepperbird (Jan Garbarek) . . . 8:00
B5 – Blupp (Jon Christensen) . . . 1:05
Jan Garbarek – tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, flute, percussion
Terje Rypdal – guitar, bugle
Arild Andersen – bass, kalimba [african thumb piano], xylophone
Jon Christensen – drums, percussion
Great 1970 Jan Garbarek LP. One of the first ECM releases.
This is the first Jan Garbarek album for ECM Records. So who better to have with him then guitarist Terje Rypdal. Great to see Jan and Terje at such a young age in the picture provided in the liner notes too. So we get that typical ECM atmosphere in this release but man these young guys hold nothing back at times. I'm so impressed with this album. It's very interesting, challenging and it holds my attention all the way through.
"Skarabee" is different with the xylophone, percussion and Thumb piano all coming and going. Drums and sax also contribute to this laid back tune. Very intricate. Flute 5 minutes in. "Mah-Jong" is a short tune that features bass and cymbals as some sparse guitar and drums join in. "Beast Of Kommodo" is a beast indeed. Bass and cymbals again to start as the sax comes in. Great sound when the drums become more prominant.The sax is killer. It settles some before 6 minutes then the guitar arrives after 7 minutes in place of the sax. Incredible sound ! Xylophone after 11 minutes then silence. Sax changes that though.
"Blow Away Zone" opens with percussion. It's experimental sounding as these strange sounds come and go. Bass 2 minutes in then some dissonant sax 2 1/2 minutes in. It's more intense 4 minutes in. Check out the sax before 6 minutes as Jan goes solo. Drums are back before 6 1/2 minutes as sax blasts away. Insane ! "MYB" opens with bass as drums shuffle. Sax before a minute. "Concentus" is a short tune that features flute and clarinet. "Afric Pepperbird" is uptempo with deliberate drumming and horns. It settles before a minute to a more laid back sound. Almost spacey guitar from Rypdal here with bass and light drums.This is so good. The sax after 2 minutes is relaxed at first then he rips it up after 4 minutes. Bass sax after 5 1/2 minutes and the guitar joins in too. Nice. My favourite track. "Blupp" has these percussion sounds that come and go and someone saying "blupp" in between. It's pretty funny._ Review by Mellotron Storm
Precise,cool and robust free-jazz based, sound is clear and airy and this album is often mentioned as what later will be known as "ECM sound" standard. Andersen/Christensen rhythm section builds perfect structure of all compositions, framed but with huge space inside for Garbarek sax and Rypdal guitar's improvs. With its roots in post- bop, album's music is excellent example of progressive and innovative sound which is fresh and experimental, but not noisy or destructive at the same time.
One of the best (if not just The Best) Garbarek's solo album and excellent Nordic avant-garde jazz release, influenced European and world jazz evolution process for years ahead.
Together with Sart, Tryptikon, and Witchi-Tai-To (as well as a prior recording on Flying Dutchman "Esoteric Circle"), this album represents the strongest, most aggressive portion of Garbarek's career.
Very highly recommended.
If you find it, buy this album!