Jan Garbarek / The Hilliard Ensemble

Remember Me, My Dear

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Made shortly before the dissolution of the Hilliard Ensemble in 2014, this live recording first appeared in the fall of 2019. It thus has the quality of a swan song for the unique collaboration of the Hilliard Ensemble and saxophonist Jan Garbarek, which still sounds fresh many years after it was first developed. The way the cool textures of the Hilliard's singing and Garbarek's saxophone bring together the disparate worlds of medieval music, contemporary music including Baltic minimalism, and jazz remains fascinating. Here, the performers seem aware of the finality of the concert, recorded where the group began, at King's College, Cambridge. The sound is clear and the feeling immediate, but there is a good deal of audience noise. The mix of material is similar to that on other Garbarek/Hilliard albums, but there's a new simplicity, with folk tunes such as the title track (sample this), which despite the reserve of these performers, has a strongly bittersweet, sentimental flavor. Garbarek's role is reined in; for long stretches, he makes only small instrumental comments, which has a somehow haunting effect. This may not be the album to pick if you're new to the Garbarek/Hilliard collaboration, for ECM's pristine studio sound has been part of the equation for most of them. However, for devotees of this ensemble, this is essential stuff.

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