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

COLIN HEMMINGSEN PROFILED (2012): With his heart in both camps

COLIN HEMMINGSEN PROFILED (2012): With his heart in both camps

In many countries, what Colin Hemmingsen has done all his life would not be considerd so unusual. But in New Zealand he has been a rarity, a musician who has had successful careers in both... > Read more

Kevin Clark: Zahara (KCM)

Kevin Clark: Zahara (KCM)

Wellington pianist/composer/arranger Clark won best jazz album of the year in 2003 with Once Upon Song I Flew, and again two years later with The Sandbar Sessions. Clark is something of a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

If there were awards in local rock for candour beyond the call of duty, then Graeme Downes, linchpin of the formative and formidable Flying Nun band the Verlaines (1981-97), would be saying... > Read more

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

The friendship and mutual admiration in the late Sixties between Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan has been well documented: they did some sessions together in '69 (their duet on Girl From the North... > Read more