Q - 7/96, p.1104 Stars
- Excellent - "...chocker with hummable tunes, strong rhythms and a general air of accessibility....his saxwork is as distinctive as ever--often one note is all it takes to recognise him..."
Down Beat - 10/96, pp.48-493.5 Stars
- Good/Very Good - "...VISIBLE WORLD showcases Garbarek's mastery of dramatic moods and spectral atmospheres rather than his improvisational skills....VISIBLE WORLD's appeal lies in its lonesome melodies and evocative moods..."
JazzTimes - 9/96, pp.97-98
"...the dreamy, impressionistic sound of film music, which is in fact where most of these pieces originated....pretty, folk-like melodies performed with a New Age sheena and with a notable paucity of improvisation....mood pieces--spooky, wistful and easy on the ear."
Personnel: Jan Garbarek (soprano & tenor saxophones, clarinet, keyboards, percussion); Mari Boine (vocals); Rainer Bruninghaus (piano, synthesizer); Eberhard Weber (bass); Marilyn Mazur (drums, shaker, percussion); Manu Katche (drums); Trilok Gurtu (tablas, spiral).
Recorded at Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Norway in June 1995.
Personnel: Jan Garbarek (clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, keyboards, percussion); Mari Boine (vocals); Rainer Bruninghaus (piano, synthesizer); Marilyn Mazur (drums, shaker, percussion); Manu Katch‚ (drums); Trilok Gurtu (tabla).
Recording information: Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Norway (06/1995).
Photographer: Rolf M. Aagaard.
Unknown Contributor Role: Trilok Gurtu.
Apart from David Sanborn, probably no living saxophonist has a more instantly recognizable voice than Jan Garbarek; actually, given the fact that Sanborn's sound is so widely copied, Garbarek's may be easier to identify in a blindfold test. This album in particular puts that sound front and center. Garbarek's the show; he composed all of the music, and is essentially the only soloist. The music (much of which was composed as soundtrack material for film or video) is quintessential Garbarek, full of the world music influences that have characterized his work since the 1970s. Garbarek's resonant, carefully articulated tenor and soprano tone suits the spacious, minor/modal themes. He's as much a singer as instrumentalist. Garbarek also plays digital synthesizers, mostly as string or flute pads underneath the folkish melodies. The record's most notable secondary player is Garbarek's ECM labelmate, the bassist Eberhard Weber, whose lyric sensibility is a virtual mirror of Garbarek's. This is quiet, contemplative music for the most part -- attractive, but not superficially pretty. Its grooves are less celebratory than melancholic. There's an intensity here borne of deep concentration and commitment to beauty. Garbarek has come a long way since his early days as a quasi-free jazz experimentalist. This music is not jazz, nor is it experimental. But it is compelling in its way, representative of a first-rate creative musician, beyond category. ~ Chris Kelsey