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Took Up the Runes

Jan GarbarekAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $27.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2000 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2000 $27.99  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Gula Gula 5:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Molde Canticle - Part 1 5:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Molde Canticle - Part 2 5:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Molde Canticle - Part 3 9:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Molde Canticle - Part 4 5:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Molde Canticle - Part 5 6:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. His Eyes Were Suns 6:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. I Took Up The Runes 5:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Buena Hora, Buenos Vientos 8:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Rahkki Sruvvis 2:39$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble’s inspired collaboration began in 1993 with the groundbreaking recording Officium and has resulted in consistently inventive music making ever since. At that first meeting Garbarek’s saxophone, soaring as a free-ranging ‘fifth voice’ with the a cappella Ensemble, gave the first indications of the musical scope and emotional power ... Read more in Amazon's Jan Garbarek Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000025YKZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

There's a stately splendor in much of this 1990 recording, whether it's infused with a broadening calm or a welling tension as Garbarek synthesizes his disparate inspirations into frequently compelling music. Mari Boine Persen, a Lapp singer, contributed the first tune, an evocative musical call that summons Garbarek's frequent use of folklore, an element that's further developed by singer Ingor Ántte Áilu Gaup on the traditional song "His Eyes Were Suns" and his own "Rahkki Sruvvis." The five-part "Molde Canticle," at more than a half-hour, is the CD's centerpiece. It's a shifting tableau with a startling change of pace for "Part 4," a rock-driven piece that fully unleashes Manu Katché's driving drums and Garbarek's always potent tenor saxophone. Garbarek synthesizes elements in his saxophone playing as well. His distinctive tenor sound can assume elements of King Curtis and the R&B stream, while it adds expressionist touches from his roots in the jazz avant-garde to the title track. There are fine contributions from Garbarek's regular associates, including Rainer Brüninghaus, who plays piano throughout, and the virtuosic Eberhard Weber, whose electric upright bass, both bowed and plucked, is a distinctive upper-register voice. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Actually, it really doesn't matter. If I give the nod to Seven Dreams, it's because it first assayed his shift to elegiac folk-jazz and because of "He Came from the North." Yes, "Molde Canticle" is entirely remarkable, perhaps even trumping anything on the former disc from the standpoint of sheer virtuosity. But maybe, just, not quite matching the wide-eyed clarity of ur-folk/jazz vision so amply on display on Seven Dreams.

On the other hand, this disc bountifully expands the sound palette, even as it retains the minimalist approach, including, for the first time, long-time collaborator Manu Katche on drums, and an early taste of electronic pioneer, Bugge Wesseltoft, on synth. Plus, it contains perhaps Eberhard Weber's finest recorded bass playing on "Molde Canticle, Part 3." Also, I absolute love how Garbarek so subtly deploys Wesseltoft's synth stylings: They're never obtrusive, always absolutely geared to their proper accompanying role. And his tenor playing on "Molde Canticle, Part 3" seems to me to be his strongest on disc. Another highlight: Vasconcelos's percussion on "Molde Canticle, Part 4," brilliantly integrated into the adventurous soundscape laid down by Garbarek's muscular tenor sax, Katche's extroverted drums, and Weber's declamatory bass.

Have I talked myself into this as Garbarek's finest outing?


But not quite. For one thing, there's too much tenor playing for my taste--a sax I actually prefer, under most circumstances, but falling short of the great concept Garbarek has on soprano. Second, despite the obvious aptness to the proceedings of Ingor Antte Ailu Gaup's voice, it somehow subtly adds an alien element that can't quite be fully integrated into the folk-jazz vibe.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible experience November 5, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I am 40 and listen to jazz since I was a child, as my father was a jazz fan. I play and teach guitar, and have a musical education background. I still do not know why, but since the beginning of the year (2004) I got much more deeply in love with music and specifically jazz - I work listening music, I listen music driving, at home etc. and I have probably purchased about 150 jazz CDs this year. This is certainly the one I like the most. I have listened to the whole CD about 4 or 5 times, and all of them were among the greatest aesthetic experiences I had. This CD is fantastic. I've been learning to enjoy Garbarek, and actually like all his CDs I have purchased until today, but this one is the great of the greatest. It is a journey. It is incredible a group of people could have composed and played such music. You feel transported to another dimension of reality, you feel hypnotized, you feel totally involved with the players and the music. A unique experience, from those that make living worth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garbarek at his most relaxed July 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
There appear to be fewer and fewer musicians (Asian, European, American, Latin American) with whom Garbarek hasn't collaborated at some time. Where no collaboration is possible, he will happily doodle on top of already highly-polished works, as in the million-selling disks he has made with the Hilliard Ensemble. The facility with which he has created dozens of beautiful and intensely enjoyable recordings has led some critics to accuse him of shallowness.

I think the truth is that he is a great musician with much genius, who consistently performs at a level which only looks facile to observers incapable of even approaching his level. But he is also a restless spirit who uses his tecnhical brilliance to conceal himself as consistently as other musicians -- David Darling, for example -- reveal themselves.

Even on this disk, which is a deliberate exploration of his own Scandinavian-Slavic roots (taking up the runes) there is frequently the sense that he is very self-consciously "collaborating" with yet another tradition, even if it is that of his own nation.

The difference is that the tension so often evident in his work with others has here given way to a serene unfolding of something as close to the real Garbarek as we are likely to see. And as so often when that happens, it the Scandinavian Baroque that is the guiding spirit, with stately measures and rather grand tunes giving way to sprightly dances and fanfares, a smell of the stableyard and the crackle of log fires.

Some listeners are irritated by the unadventurousness of this album, the absence of the complex beats and jagged melodies of his exotic works, or the angst which signals that he is operating at a higher level. But this is a Garbarek who is contented, at ease, very much at home, and the result is deservedly one of his most popular recordings. This is a deeply pleasing work and a Garbarek must-have. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another great Garbarek album December 3, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my favorite Garbarek albums; not only is it the final of the late-1980s works that solidified his reputation as one of the most creative folk-jazz fusion artists, but it features easily accessible and memorable individual cuts and wonderful supporting performances by the likes of Eberhard Weber, Nana Vasconcelos, Manu Katche, and others. The five-part 'Molde Canticle' is the album's major work, featuring variations on a very simple but beautiful and wistful melody by Garbarek himself. Actually, very little of the material here is traditional in origin; it just sounds that way. A must purchase for those who are Garbarek enthusiasts, and a good bet for those who like to relax around a fireplace on a wintry Sunday afternoon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Molde Magic
The central piece of this album, the five-part Molde Canticle is the outstanding highlight here. This long section is the most exhilirating and lively Garbarek has been in a long... Read more
Published on July 21, 2011 by Sentinel
4.0 out of 5 stars Proper alignment
Late triumph in a distinguished sax career, Runes is a carefully calibrated work that provides the best of Garbarek's unique tone, exotic rhythms, and spacious pacing without... Read more
Published on November 18, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars What to say?
Again, what to say? This is my absolutely preferred CD, my top one, the one i love more and more. Somebody says this is not best Garbarek around, somebody says this is not best... Read more
Published on December 19, 2000 by Alessandro Tagliati
4.0 out of 5 stars These musicians communicate so well with sounds that words are not...
From the very beginning of this album, I am completely grasped by Garbarek's presence and the power, emotion, and passion in his music. Read more
Published on December 1, 2000 by Jimmy E
5.0 out of 5 stars I Took Up the Rock Audience
Jazz can take many forms, and when it comes to transforming European folksongs, there is no finer exponent than Jan Garbarek. Read more
Published on August 17, 2000 by Gavin Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars He took up the runes
It`s a very difficult and ungrateful job to choose the best of Garbarek`s works. This one deserves four stars, to my opinion, "Twelve moons" sounds fresher and more... Read more
Published on May 14, 1999
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