357

John Surman: Rarum XIII: Selected Recordings

By

Sign in to view read count
John Surman: Rarum XIII: Selected Recordings Here is a much needed career retrospective of John Surman, arguably the most impressive baritone saxophonist in the post-Mulligan era. ECM continues to treat its stars honorably by having them choose their own high points from their back catalog, and no one can fault Surman for being wildly eclectic. The problem is: the stellar horn man can be as devastatingly dull when overdubbing himself as he is dazzling in a band context.

Five of the thirteen selections present Surman overdubbing himself, particularly painful when he gets near a synthesizer. There is a looping, Bach-meets "New Age" synthesizer figure on "Edges of Illusion" that distracts from his brilliantly convoluted bass clarinet solo. It is surprising to think that a musician of Surman's sophistication could be seduced by synthesizer riffs worthy of Yanni.

But the high points are highly haunting. His pairing with the peerless Jack DeJohnette is totally absorbing. And his meshing with guitarist John Abercrombie on "Mountainscape VIII" is a vivid demonstration of that cooly abstract vein of Western European chamber jazz ECM has so devoutly documented for decades. Equally attractive is Surman's solid playing in the context of John Warren's "Brass Project."

No question about the uniqueness of Surman's vision: a kind of "birth-of-the-cool-celtic" romanticism, quite English, with a bittersweet, hymn-like lyricism. This could have been a better career overview without the overdubs, but we should be damned grateful for this showcase of his talent, synthesizer indulgence and all.

Track Listing: 1. Druid's Circle, 2. Number Six, 3. Portrait of a Romantic, 4. Ogeda, 5. The Returning Exile, 6. Edge of Illusion, 7. The Buccaneers, 8. The Snooper, 9. Mountainscape VIII, Figfoot, 10. Piperspool, 11. Gone to the Dogs, 13. Stone Flower

Personnel: John Surman, Jack deJohnette, Paul Bley, Phil Oxley, Miroslav Vitous, John Aberchrombie, John Warren, Jon Christensen, and more.

Title: Rarum XIII: Selected Recordings | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!