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 at Elsewhere articles index

Jarrett, Haden, Motian: Hamburg '72 (ECM/Ode)

Jarrett, Haden, Motian: Hamburg '72 (ECM/Ode)

The death this year of the great bassist/composer Charlie Haden robbed the world -- and not just the jazz world -- of one of the great artists of our time. It would take far too long here to go... > Read more

Lovano/Crispell/Castaldi: Garden of Expression (ECM/digital outlets)

Lovano/Crispell/Castaldi: Garden of Expression (ECM/digital outlets)

Sometimes billed as Trio Tapestry (or Joe Lovano Trio Tapestry), this triumviratee of jazz talent (saxophonist Lovano, pianist Marilyn Crispell an drummer Carmen Castaldi) on this second album for... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1968)

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1968)

By the latter part of the Sixties there was a clear difference between how American and British "hippies" perceived "the psychedelic era". If it's true that no music movement... > Read more

Ben Batterbury's Venison Tartare With Blackcurrants, Gin And Chocolate

Ben Batterbury's Venison Tartare With Blackcurrants, Gin And Chocolate

In May 2011, 32-year old Bristol-born Ben Batterbury, the head chef at Queenstown's prestigious hotel The Rees, presented a menu of New Zealand flavours at the famous Beard House in New York, the... > Read more