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Jack DeJohnette & John Surman: Invisible Nature

Jim Santella By

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Creative music casts many impressions. Primarily a drums and soprano saxophone session, Invisible Nature swings impressionism through a dramatic collection of scenery. Improvising cohesively, the duo creates an enjoyable album that takes jazz beyond the mainstream. The pair of veteran artists forges a concert performance spontaneously. Recorded live on tour at the Berlin Jazz Festival and Finland's Tampere Jazz Happening in November 2000, this ECM session floats through space and time, pausing to add regional connotations along the way. The exotic Orient, ancient imperialist marches from the world's earliest civilizations, primitive rituals, folk dances, and urban sprawl are just a few of the themes that DeJohnette and Surman weave into their performances. Composed beforehand by the duo, "Outback Spirits" provides the kind of tension that Nature requires for its equilibrium. DeJohnette's composition, "Song for World Forgiveness," features lush piano and bass clarinet melody, while "Ganges Groove" stirs up a stereotypical snake charmer's dance with hornpipe and tabla. Here, the hornpipe is Surman's soprano, and the tabla is created through electronic percussion. Their realistic impression is right on the button. Impressionism can offer you different ideas with every listen. When the session contains superb musicianship and fresh views, such as we find here, you have a winning album that should appeal to all readers.


Track Listing: Mysterium; Rising Tide; Outback Spirits; Underground Movement; Ganges Groove; Fair Trade; Song For World Forgiveness.

Personnel: Jack DeJohnette- drums, electronic percussion, piano; John Surman- soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone on "Fair Trade," bass clarinet, synthesizers.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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Multiple Reviews
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