Del Amitri. The Boo Radleys. The Big Dish. The Big 0 Zone. Courtney Pine and Jan Garbarek. LISTINGS: ROCK & BLUES 39 JAZZ 42 FOLK & WORLD 45 CLASSICAL 46




Into the cool

What is the connection between saxophonist Jan Garbarek and your back garden? Kenny Mathieson discovers a passion for weeding in the Norwegian maestro’s music.

Norwegian saxophonist Jan (Earbarek has been pre-eminent in developing the spare. evocative. haunting saxophone sound which has come to seem a very distinctly European corollary to the widespread influence ofJohn Coltrane‘s rampant overspill. It comes as something of a surprise. then. especially if you do not know his early records. to learn the identity ofUarbarek‘s first

major influence.

‘When I was fourteen. which was in 1961. I happened to hear a piece of music on the radio. I didn‘t even know it was jazz until the end ofthe programme. I was just really struck by the sound. and I wanted to get it. So I went out and bought a jazz record. but I was a little bit disappointed it was not what I wanted. It turned out to be a record with Gene Krupa, which is far away from

Coltrane. right‘.’

‘I called the radio station and asked what that particular music I heard was. and they told me it was “Countdown” from Giant Steps. which had just come out in Europe then. so I bought the album immediately. and I played it every morning before I went to school for a year. maybe even two years. I got a saxophone a few months later. I had never played before. but I tried to play very much in the Coltrane style. and through that I discovered players like Archie Shepp. Pharoah Sanders and Albert Ayler. These three became my new heroes, in addition

to Coltrane.‘

If Coltrane‘s blistering sheets of sound do not

fit our preconception of Garbarek's haunting.

atmospheric music. then Albert Ayler‘s manic.

impassioned howl seems to do so even less. but he

remains an important figure to the saxophonist.

‘I think to this day Ayler is my outstanding idol. I love him because his music is so straight from the heart. You can copy the sound of any person. but you cannot copy the spirit behind the sound. It is like the first time my wife heard Bill Evans— she had heard many piano trios and found them boring. and they all played like the Evans trio. but when she heard him playing the music. it was completely different for her.‘

Ayler’s fire and passion. though. also serves to emphasise one of the complaints some listeners direct at Garbarek. and especially at his most recent developments. For some cars. his music is over-cerebral; it lacks exactly that uninhibited freedom and sheer spirit he so admires in Ayler. Certainly. there is no doubt that he has evolved a cooler. considerably pared-down style over the

years. but that was the product of a very deliberate artistic decision.

‘I started off with “Countdown”. which means a 10! ofplaying. and I followed (‘oltrane‘s example very closely in the (ills. but as time went ' on I discovered that I wanted to play less. to use fewer notes and soon. It is like weeding a garden I started to take out all the things that I didn‘t want anymore. or that were not doing much


‘Ofcourse. what you end up with is a very naked place. Then. ifyou are lucky. the things you are really looking for will start lo grow. So the way I see it. it has been a lot of weeding out to give myselfsome space. and for me. it had to come to a conscious level. I had to decide when I played something whether it really belonged to . me. or whether I had taken it from someplace g else. and ifthat was true. then I had to learn to do

without it.’

(iarbarek‘s long quest after a distinctive. highly personal music goes on. His last release. Raven/ole ( ECM). was a collaboration with Norwegian traditional singer Agnes Buen (iarnas. the most obvious manifestation to date ofa folk-derived strain which has long been

implicit in his work.

The new album. I Tau/v (XI) The Runes (IX'M). follows on from the musical territory of Legend of the Seven Dreams (ECM ). and again features the quartet which will play at the Queen's I lall. with pianist Rainer Bruninghaus. Eberhard Weber on bass. and percussionist Nana Vasconcelos. They are augmented on the disc. though. by drummer Manu Katche. Bugge Wesseltoft on synthesizer. and singer Ingor Antte Ailu (iaup.

The music again draws on Norwegian material for inspiration. but it is transmuted within his highly contemporary jazz register. and spiced with a more exotic. Third World influence. Garbarek's majestic tone. measured articulation and depth of feeling for the music have made him among the most popular of contemporary jazz players. and his last two visits have crammed the Queen's I Iall. This is unlikely to be an exception. Jan (Iurbarek Group. Queen's Ila/l. Edinburgh.

7 December. 8.30pm.


I HERE'S A CHANCElor Edinburgh musiciansto speaktheir minds and let the Council know whatthey need. As Edinburgh District Council‘s Musician-in- Residence, Paddy Burton is compiling a report on how local bands operate and what they require in the way

ollacillties. ‘Rehearsal space!‘ i hear you cryin unison. Well , it that’s so, or there are otherpressing needs that aren’tbeing catered tor. Burton will want to hearlrom you. and the results at his report will be taken into consideration as part at the Council's

‘cultural industries strategy’. Burton can be contacted atthe Arts Outreach Team. Edinburgh District Council. 12 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 90H. or by phone on 031 225 2424 ext 6665. As part of his job. he is also engaged in the creation ol three ‘sight. sound and touch gardens' in the city.

I THE KINGDOM OF FIFE will rise again! That wasthe attitude at the organisers of Rothes Rock alter the lirst ol theirrock nights in Glenrothes‘ Crystal Arena at

the end at September. Showcasing three orlour local bands each time, they ‘plan to develop File into one of Britain's prime spots lor live music. similarto Glasgow or Manchester. This may sound lar-letched until you considerthe number at amazingly talented acts currently playing the circuit around the area. who. let's lace it. would probably be enjoying a lucrative career if only File could be dragged lrom the musical back~water we nowlind ourselves in.‘

The next Rothes Rock Night is at the Crystal Arena

. on Saturday 29 December

with Blue on Shock. Third Light and Silent Falls. and it is planned that the events. currently quarterly. will soon take place on a

: monthly basis.Anyone wanting to take part should

send a demo tape. a recent photo and a short blog to The Rothes Rock Club. c/o Jim Russell, Smithlield. Coaltown ol Bumturk, Near Cupar, File KY7 7TH.

I THE FIRST MONDAY in February has been

announced as the worldwide release date of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie’s long-awaited ‘Hammer and Tongs' LP. As an introduction to the band. punters in the US and Europe will get the extra tracks “The Rattler‘. ‘Open YourArms'. ‘Goodbye Mr Mackenzie‘ and ‘Goodwill City'. And as ittums out. only two songs. notthe whole album. are being remixed lorthe American rock market by Faith No More's producer.

The List 7 20 December 1990 33