Happy Birthday Jan Garbarek

March 4, 1947

A tribute to the Norwegian jazz saxophonist

Tenor and soprano-saxophonist Jan Garbarek was born Mar. 4, 1947 in Mysen, Norway.

Garbarek, who grew up in Oslo, Norway, made his recording debut in 1966 with arranger George Russell with whom he worked for five years.

Originally Garbarek had an intense style inspired by Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp, but by the early 1970s his approach had become more laidback and his tone gentler.

Garbarek led the first of his many recordings for the ECM label in 1970 and often worked with guitarist Terje Rypdal and pianist Bobo Stenson, but it was his recordings with Keith Jarrett, starting with 1974’s Belonging and including 1977’s “My Song,” that made him well known to Americans.

While the Jarrett association ended after 1979, Jan Garbarek has maintained a steady career since then, still recording for ECM and featuring his distinctive sound.

This half-hour segment from a 1974 television program in Oslo features some prime early Jan Garbarek with the Keith Jarrett European Quartet.


Keith Jarrett, piano
Jan Garbarek, tenor, soprano
Palle Danielsson, bass
Jon Christensen, drums

-Scott Yanow


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