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Jan Garbarek Quartet: Afric Pepperbird LP

Recorded in Oslo in September 1970, Afric Pepperbird was released on New Year’s Day in 1971. Half a century later, it still conveys the freshness and excitement of discoveries being made. The album signalled the arrival of four Norwegian improvisers – Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen – at the fledgling ECM label. It was the start of a lifelong association with each of the musicians, whose influence was soon to reach far beyond the borders of their homeland. In extended passages on Afric Pepperbird, with Christensen and Andersen stretching out, it’s quite often Rypdal effectively holding the center with taut chords. Everybody is roaring here, with Garbarek deep into his free jazz vocabulary. “Garbarek should be heard,” wrote reviewer Joe Klee in DownBeat. “I would venture that not since Django Reinhardt has there been a European jazz musician so original and forward-looking as this young Norwegian.

Side A
1. Skarab e
2. Mah-Jong
3. Beast Of Kommodo

Side B
1. Blow Away Zone
2. MYB
3. Concentus
4. Afric Pepperbird
5. Blupp