Jan Garbarek
Witchi-Tai-To


4.5
superb

Review

by ResidentNihilist USER (18 Reviews)
February 19th, 2021 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just listen to 'Desireless.'

Jazz, to most, seemingly begins and ends with Miles Davis and John Coltrane. While there is a certain attraction to the idea of four guys jamming away and breaking boundaries in a smoke-filled room with spirits being drank like water, this cultural cliché is well worn and does a disservice to the genre of jazz as to put it simply there is so much more culturally to it than that. Case in point Witchi-Tai-To

This album is a Euro-centric approach to jazz tunes from across different cultures. From the Don Cherry inspired 'Desireless' to the Cuban 'Hasta Siempre' this album covers a wide variety of cultural bases, all reinterpreted through the lens of European jazz. What makes this album a bona fide classic though is how Jan Garbarek and co. manage to reinterpret these pieces. From the more subtle flair of 'Witchi-Tai-To' to the Cuban extravagance of 'Hasta Siempre' the quartet interprets many of these songs in a faithful yet boundary pushing light that sound like a harmonious blending of cultural sounds and cliches with subtle twists. The standout track though is 'Desireless' where the band take a two minute Don Cherry interlude and transform it into a pulsating, peerless exercise in Spiritual Jazz reminiscent of Pharoah Sanders at his absolute peak.

'Desireless' like many of the other songs on this album shows the band members restraining themselves to solo around a specific theme but this gradually loosens and uncoils until everyone is freewheeling without losing sight of the goal. Special credit goes to Bobo Stenson's piano playing which, while being incredibly dynamic throughout the record, achieves a beautiful, emotional resonance on this song through the fountain of melodic ideas that he produces.

There has been criticisms levelled at the production or Jan Garbarek's saxophone tone but they are a matter of taste more than anything else. What cannot be disputed is that this is one of the best cultural exports from the European jazz scene ever. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (16)
4.2
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
ResidentNihilist
February 19th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For my jazz brothers Trifolium, Dedex, Pheromone and Porcupine Theatre. You HAVE to listen to this.



My first jazz review what do you think? Constructive criticism welcome.

parksungjoon
February 19th 2021


30896 Comments


>For my jazz brothers Trifolium, Dedex, Pheromone and Porcupine Theatre.

tch i see how it is

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

Trifolium
February 19th 2021


24070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A pos has arrived! Great review, for a fantastic album that I just can't wait to dive deeper into.

ResidentNihilist
February 19th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@park Hey c'mon man it's just I wanted to do one for them as I love this album and I'd thought they'd enjoy it. I'm still going to review metal lol.

parksungjoon
February 19th 2021


30896 Comments


i vote more jazz

ResidentNihilist
February 19th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But seriously cheers guys

parksungjoon
February 19th 2021


30896 Comments


so many things without a review

ResidentNihilist
February 19th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm thinking about doing Noah Howard's The Black Ark next. Intense free jazz that needs a fucking review.

DadKungFu
February 20th 2021


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How have I not heard of this



Edit: the sax on Desireless is one of the most beautiful things I've heard this year so far.

ResidentNihilist
February 20th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah the sax really shines there, especially in the opening few minutes. It's amazing how much it doesn't dominate the album either and gives room for the other instruments to breathe. Also cheers for the pos.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2021


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ayyye my man



this is super good so far

Trifolium
May 4th 2021


24070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I love it too. Silly me forgot this one for a moment, but not any more!

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2021


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

slaps indeed

Trifolium
May 4th 2021


24070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm checking Sart and Dansere too, they're both super nice!

Trifolium
May 4th 2021


24070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Desireless is SO good ✨

ResidentNihilist
May 4th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you guys enjoy it, desireless is amazing

DadKungFu
May 5th 2021


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anyone check out his daughter Anja's work? Pretty good nordic pop in the vein of that other famous nordic pop singer

Trifolium
May 5th 2021


24070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool! No I haven't but I certainly will. Sounds nice!

ResidentNihilist
May 5th 2021


2114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah will check sometime.

DadKungFu
May 5th 2021


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, if y'all are interested Smiling and Waving features a rare post-Talk Talk appearance from Mark Hollis



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