Bill Connors guitar Jan Garbarek saxophones Gary Peacock bass Jack DeJohnette drums Recorded December 1977, Talent Studio, Oslo Engineer: Jan Erik Kongshaug Produced by Manfred Eicher
Three years after his astonishing acoustic turn on Theme To The Guardian and fresh from Jan Garbarek's Places session, guitarist Bill Connors returned as leader for this moody quartet, for which one could hardly dream up a better roster: Garbarek (saxophones), Gary Peacock (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums) fill out the spectrum of this sound palette with the best of them. The synergy for which the latter two musicians have come to be so highly regarded is already plain to see here and spins the free and easy flow that characterizes the album's ethos from beginning to end. While one might expect an electric guitar at anchor, Connors maintains his wireless interests with no loss of potency. One side effect," if you will, of this configuration is that the backing generally keeps its volume low and fades to near silence in order to give Connors ample soloing room. Garbarek's chops are kept in check, for instance, in the opening cut, given only a single cosmic needle through which to thread his potentially overpowering strains. Such attractive negotiations abound, as in the heartrending tenor of Not Forgetting" and the lullaby effect of Face In The Water." Garbarek reignites in Aubade" as if he were embodying the wavering reflections of a pool of fire. Where much of the album is diffuse and liquid, the groove of Café Vue" is undeniably solid and allows for some engaging breaches of calm before being restored in Unending."
While perhaps less specific than Connors's ECM debut, Of Mist And Melting is a worthy successor. It holds on to that same sense of freedom while charting an ethereal sound that could only come from those gathered.