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  • Ralph Brooker wrote on June 24, 2012 report

    Hi John,

    I was a little disappointed with Saltash Bells. But this is down to my own expectations and wishful thinking. "saltash" is very retro as you imply and I'd been kind of thinking and willing a newer direction from JS. A direction hinted at in the brilliant "Rain on the Window".

    Someone really ought to commission JS to compose and perform a Nordheim tribute. If I had the dosh, I'd do it (commission JS, I mean).

    Perversely, I love Saltash Bells. It's Surman so it's going to be top quality. That's axiomatic. But I was hoping....

    Oh well, another 3-4 year wait.

    En bref : superb album, but as retro as Mullet hairdos and tight-fitting shorts.

  • Dave Sumner wrote on August 12, 2012 report

    That's a really nice review, John. I just wrapped up my own review of Saltash Bells, and decided to walk around the internet and see how others received the album.

    I really like how you used Stephen Micus as a point of comparison.

    I totally get Ralph Brooker's opinion just above. I was disappointed that Surman didn't break any significant ground with Saltash Bells, however, I also really enjoy the album, and it's become a staple of my first-of-the-morning listening routine.

  • John Kelman wrote on August 12, 2012 report

    Thanks Dave; as for Saltash breaking ground? I guess, for me, while I hope that artists break ground over the course of their career (which Surman has surely done); but it's tough to expect them to break ground with every release. In any case, sometimes it's a matter of further exploration of ground already broken, and so Saltash Bells, I think, represents Surman working an area that he created for himself a few decades past, but in which there's still plenty of nooks and crannies to still explore.

    Let me know when you're review is done, would love to see it. Are we getting it, or is it for Emusic or your blog? Obviously we'd love to have it...

  • Dave Sumner wrote on August 12, 2012 report

    I think it was the gap between solo releases that had me hoping for the Big Changes. On the other hand, now that I've heard Saltash Bells, it's doubtful I'd "give up" this album for what might have been.

    The review will be for my own site. It has some stylistic approaches that probably wouldn't have meshed well on AAJ. For those reviews that have a more personalized touch, I let them ride on my site. If I can get a more standard review out, then I throw it over to AAJ. I've got a couple just about finished that will be a decent fit for AAJ.