John Surman: The Spaces in Between (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

John Surman: Mimosa
John Surman: The Spaces in Between (ECM/Ode)

British saxophonist Surman's career has been a pleasure to follow: right from early ECM albums such as Upon Reflection ('79), The Amazing Adventures of Simon Simon ('81) and, especially, Private City in '87 (on all of which he played synthesizers as well as bass clarinet in addition to various saxes).

Over the decades he has also worked with guitarist Terje Rypdal, in a jazz quartet setting, with John Warren's Brass Project, and latterly with the string quartet here -- which first appeared on his Coruscating album six years ago.

While not simply repeating the Coruscating formula, Surman and the strings once again address that area betweeen jazz and classical music which many others on the ECM New Series imprint have explored so profitably.

Call it "chamber-jazz" if you will (a label that neither does justice to this album, nor the parameters of each style), but this music has a poise offset by the emotionalism of Surman's earthy tones.

Recorded in a monastery in Austria, the resonant sound has a depth and distance to it which enhances the whole project.

From what sounds like Elizabethan court music to sprightly pastoral ballads, and into classically-framed European jazz, this is a sheer delight.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

FREE JAZZ OF THE SEVENTIES: Missing in action . . . and in-action

FREE JAZZ OF THE SEVENTIES: Missing in action . . . and in-action

Without wishing to sound the complete High Fidelity, but I was moving some albums around the other night ... As with many people I have an embarrassment of riches on vinyl, and a rich... > Read more

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything (ECM/Ode)

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite of Everything (ECM/Ode)

Although this album gets credited above to the witty, inventive and very lively Italian pianist Stefano Bollani (familiar from albums with trumpeter Enrico Rava), the Danish rhythm section of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LaVern Baker: Voodoo Voodoo (1961)

LaVern Baker: Voodoo Voodoo (1961)

The sudden revival of Wanda Jackson's career - courtesy of Jack White and the album The Party Ain't Over in early 2011 -- has singled her out as a great female rock'n'roller at a time (the... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam Browne of Black River Drive

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam Browne of Black River Drive

When it comes to hard rock from New Zealand, you are spoiled for choice . . . but making a serious entry into the international stakes are Black River Drive whose second album Quicksand is a real... > Read more