Anja Garbarek "Smiling & Waving"
The sophomore release by Anja Garbarek, daughter of Norwegiansaxophonist Jan Garbarek, will be poorly compared by many anunimaginative writer to Björk. But, I guess it's easy to make that sortof leap when dealing with female artists who record outside themainstream - just like writers who compare every trumpeter to MilesDavis. Garbarek seems to have inherited the "less-is-more" aestheticher father used in helping to define the "ECM sound" by infusing sparsechamber-jazz with false electronic ambience, creating a personal warmthrarely captured in the studio. Of course, with help from such legendsas Robert Wyatt (providing incindental vocalisations on "The Diver"),ex-Japan-sters Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri, and Talk Talk's MarkHollis (who, along with collaborator Martin Ditcham, contributes bassand melodica, as well as some arrangements, like on the, uh, Björkishur-jungle fuzz of "Big Mouth"), capturing genius isn't hard. Garbarek'svoice floats gently over swelling strings and staticky glitch eruptionson "Her Room", like a lucid Beth Gibbons of Portishead, pouring sweetlullaby melodies in your ear. Garbarek's "Smiling & Waving"approaches the sublime beauty of the recent electro-acoustic jazz of"Bodily Functions" by Matthew Herbert, as well as latter day Talk Talkor the mellower aspects of Lamb, but still stakes a claim to a lushmusical landscape that is all her own.