Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


John Surman: Morning Glory

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
This is the first John Surman-authorised reissue of his seminal album released on the Island Records label in 1973 (ILPS9237) that acted as a signal delineation between what preceded it (a relatively conventional approach with an emphasis on blistering baritone saxophone outings) and what was to follow (the far more pastoral ECM years, albeit with the occasional quartet and big band foray). Up to this point British jazz has been stoking-up a real furnace of excellent and often ground breaking music. Surman had already made an impact on several of Mike Westbrook's early albums, with his own recordings for Deram and with The Trio albums on the Dawn label.

Jazz had been undertaking a considerable dalliance with rock from the late 1960s onwards commencing with the likes of Miles Davis's In A Silent Way. Surman had also been contemplating jazz rock and 1969's Way Back When (Cuneiform) is testament to that, as are his trio "supergroup" recordings for Jazz In Britain with Jack Bruce and Jon Hiseman (thankfully now available on Bruce's Spirit Live At The BBC 1971-1978). There had too been his inestimable contribution to John McLaughlin's Extrapolation.

Morning Glory was certainly different to Surman's usual oeuvre. It might be considered by some as Surman's apotheosis but as many will criticise its rockist tendencies. But considering it features the cream of British jazz plus Norwegian guitar phenomenon Terje Rypdal, gripping compositions and a strong cohesiveness throughout, this should be regarded as a gem regardless of which camp it falls into. It should be noted too that Surman for this recording stuck to soprano sax and bass clarinet, temporarily abandoning the baritone sax. It's also important to take into account that the album wasn't pure jazz rock since Chris Laurence plays acoustic bass giving the group an early Weather Report feel. The addition of virtuoso trombonist Malcolm Griffiths as a soloist was also a masterful move.

From the electro-modal "Cloudless Sky" introduced by Surman's screaming soprano, through the tension and release of "Iron Man," the typically Surman-esque device of a dramatic obligato riff on "Norwegian Steel—Septimus" and Rypdal's coruscating guitar on "Hinc Illae Lacrimae—For Us All (Hence These Tears)," the performances—flawlessly and professionally captured live via the Pye Mobile Recording Unit—are stupendous. This reissue, in tandem with its predecessor Westering Home, also reissued by Fledg'ling, has been remastered and is augmented with new liner notes by Duncan Heining.

Track Listing: Cloudless Sky; Iron Man; Norwegian Steel – Septimus; Hinc Illae Lacrimae – For Us All (Hence These Tears).

Personnel: John Surman: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Terje Rypdal: guitar; John Taylor: piano, electric piano; Malcolm Griffiths: trombone; Chris Laurence: bass; John Marshall: drums.

Title: Morning Glory | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Fledg'ling Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alleviation CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Last Minute Panic CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Murphy CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Haberdashery CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Song of the Silver Geese CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Live at Kolarac CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Outside The Comfort Zone" CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Music in the Room" CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read "Book Of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Affirmative" CD/LP/Track Review Affirmative
by Jim Olin
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Pletter På Solen" CD/LP/Track Review Pletter På Solen
by Nick Davies
Published: June 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!