<< -- 3 -- Rex Harley HONED AND PRACTISED
Rainer Bruninghaus is not one of your natural improvisers, but gave us a splendid series of variations, almost classical in construction, reminiscent of the Great Friedrich Gulda in his suite The Long Road to Freedom: in this case, boogie-woogie to Keith Jarrett. And Marilyn Mazur ...
Well, her solo spot came late on, when she'd already contributed so much by way of the imagination and flexibility of her accompaniment. Alone, she showed why she's one of the foremost percussionists in the world. Her drumming, whether with sticks or her bare hands, was phenomenal: a breathtaking display of complex rhythms and sound-patterns. Then, just at the point where she might have built to a crowd-pleasing climax, she drew everything down almost to silence and switched to the tuned percussion, creating a series of melodic fragments which was quite ethereal.
The group needed a great deal of encouragement to come back for an encore, as well they might, having given us over two hours of almost continuous music. A treat, then, and proof that after all this time at the top of his craft, when he could simply sit back and earn a living from his CDs, Jan Garbarek is keen as ever to strike the musical sparks that only a live performance can truly generate.