All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

241

John Surman: Brewster's Rooster

By

Sign in to view read count
Over 150 years experience! That's how the band saxophonist John Surman assembled for Brewster's Rooster could be advertised. Surman first played with drummer Jack DeJohnette in the late '70s and DeJohnette and guitarist John Abercrombie first worked together earlier that decade. Rounded out by bassist Drew Gress, Surman revisits straight-ahead jazz after essaying an eclectic range of recordings. On "Hilltop Dancer," Surman's tone on baritoneis solid and assured, never tempted by the extremes available on the big horn and Abercrombie's subtle ability to match notes is remarkable. Alternating between pretty melodies rendered on soprano and harder driving baritone burners, Surman's good taste and confidence reveal themselves. Like a less cagey Ben Webster, Surman's sound is brawny and heartfelt, never more so on "Chelsea Bridge," giving the old warhorse fresh life in an absolutely compelling performance.

What is exciting and engaging on CD, however, really took off on the third night of the group's stay at New York City's Birdland in August, 2009. Opening with an unaccompanied solo on baritone, Surman and the band swiftly launched into "Hilltop Dancer," with Abercrombie staying with the leader on every step of the melodic line. DeJohnette propelled readings of "Kickback" and "Haywain" as Surman wrestled his solos to the ground with fast fingerings and circular breaths, while even soprano ballads like "Slanted Sky" featured pugilistic middle sections. Even these grizzled veteran musicians had to smile at their own creativity.

Track Listing: Slanted Sky; Hilltop Dancer; No Finesse; Kickback; Chelsea Bridge; Haywain; Counter Measures; Brewster's Rooster; Going for a Burton.

Personnel: John Surman: baritone and soprano saxophones; John Abercrombie: guitar; Drew Gress: double-bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums.

Title: Brewster's Rooster | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Invisible Threads

Invisible Threads

ECM Records
2018

buy
Westering Home

Westering Home

Fledg'ling Records
2016

buy
Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Fledg'ling Records
2016

buy
Looking for the Next One

Looking for the Next...

Cuneiform Records
2013

buy
Saltash Bells

Saltash Bells

ECM Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Any Other Way" CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Shamat" CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Serenity Knolls" CD/LP/Track Review Serenity Knolls
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Stratus" CD/LP/Track Review Stratus
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017