Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Jan Garbarek w. Arild Andersen & Edward Vesala - Triptykon (1972)

This is probably my favourite Jan Garbarek album.  His playing style was becoming more distinctive with each release, coming well and truly out of the shadow of Albert Ayler, and he was still a couple of years away from starting to become Jan Garbarek™, ECM ice king extraordinnaire.  That said, there's already evidence of him starting to mellow, in the goregous Selje (a fjord region on the west coast of Norway) where he switches to flute, and the understated Sang.  For the vestiges of early, skroning Garbarek at his freest, head straight for the 12-minute title track.

It can't be stressed enough however that this isn't just Garbarek's album - what I love most about Triptykon is that I can sit down for a listen through this album and focus solely on Edward Vesala snaking his way around the kit like no other jazz drummer on earth.  Or indeed, spend the duration listening to Arild Andersen putting in a phenomenal rock-solid performance on bass, taking a great solo on the title track and a memorable switch to the bow in the closing track.  One my favourite expressions of the trio format in jazz, up there with Money Jungle; Triptykon is a true team effort.  Should further evidence be required, just check them out in a rare French TV recording (below).


Previously posted at SGTG: Afric Pepperbird

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