Reviews that mention John Surman

March 29, 2020

Peter Lemer Quintet

Son of Local Colour
ESP 5031

With the glut of film sequels involving Sci-Fi and superheroes as well as albums featuring reunions of bands which broke up fairly recently, it’s refreshing to find this top-notch disc by a band which waited half a century to record a follow-up to its first LP. With only one personnel change, due to illness, and additional tunes, British pianist Peter Lemer and associates came up with new takes on the material they recorded in 1968 – hence the title.

In the interim none have been idle, usually in Jazz-Rock settings. Drummer Jon Hiseman (1944-2018) founded Colosseum and played with groups ranging from United Jazz + Rock Ensemble to the Bluesbreakers. It’s the same for bassist Tony Reeves, who worked with among others, Curved Air and Davy Graham. Saxophonist John Surman moved from groups like SOS to record many chilled discs for EC; while Lemer’s non-Jazz credentials include In Cahoots, the Baker-Gurvitz Army and Paraphernalia. One-third of SOS, ringer Alan Skidmore, in for an ill George Khan, made discs with group ranging from the European Jazz Quintet to Amampondo. MORE

September 26, 2015

Mike Osborne

Dawn
Cuneiform RUNE 392

Phil Seamen

The Late Great

SWP 037

Participating in the transition from Jazz to Free Jazz were two British musicians who physically or mentally didn’t survive the 1970s. Individually, alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007) and drummer Phil Seamen (1926-1972), participated in many of the define sessions that marked the definition of Jazz in the United Kingdom as a separate, non-American idiom in the 1950s and 1960s (Seamen) and the 1960s and 1970s (Osborne) and these CDs collect some of their most notable work. MORE

March 3, 2014

S.O.S.

Looking for the Next One
Cuneiform RUNE 360/361

Robert Marcel Lepage

Le lait maternel.

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 212

Keefe Jackson's Likely So

A Round Goal

Delmark DE 5009

Double Trio de Clarinettes

Itinéraire Bis

Between the Lines BTLCHR 71231

Something In The Air: Reed Blends.

By Ken Waxman.

Reed sections have been part of jazz’s performing vernacular since its earliest days. But only with the freedom that arose with modern improvised music in the 1960s were the woodwinds able to stand on their own. In the right hands, with the right ideas, a group consisting only of saxophones and/or clarinets can produce satisfying sounds that don’t need the intervention of a rhythm section or even brass for additional colors. All of the fine discs here demonstrate that. MORE

May 21, 2012

Graham Collier

Relook: A Memorial 75th Birthday Celebration
Jazz Continuum No #

During an historic career in composed and improvised music that lasted more than 55 years, British bassist/educator Graham Collier (1937-2011) was familiar with, and arguably mastered, every type of jazz as a player and writer. Yet, as demonstrated by the 20 selections of this career retrospective, organized by Collier himself before his unexpected death, his greatest achievements were in the realm of modern, straight-ahead big band Jazz

As the tracks recorded from 1963 to 2004 on this two-CD set illustrate, Collier’s skill was second to none. But qualifiers have to be added about modern, straight-ahead big band Jazz. That`s because the ever-changing, non-atonal music which Collier dedicated his professional life to was increasing being compromised by Jazz’s neo-cons, whose rightful rejection of fads such as fusion and hip-hop, also led to a codification of what they consider “real Jazz”. The bassist’s writings in books and articles strongly argued against these retrogressive blinders and listeners will surely note how his own musical work put a lie to narrow classifications. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath
Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent
Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn
Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood
Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

October 17, 2005

GRAHAM COLLIER

Workpoints
Cuneiform Rune 213/214

More important for jazz in its day than Wynton Marsalis winning the Pulitzer prize for music, London-based bassist Graham Collier’s “Workpoints” was awarded the first-ever commission for jazz from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1967.

WORKPOINTS, the CD, preserves a 1968 live version of the four-part suite plus two shorter numbers performed by a dozen of the United Kingdom’s best jazzers of the day. Coupled with it is LIVE IN MIDDLEHEIM, a Collier sextet date from more than seven years later. Featuring “Darius”, another of the bassist’s extended works and four other tracks, it’s looser and features guitar and the dreaded electric piano that are absent on “Workpoints”. MORE

March 29, 2002

MICHEL PORTAL

Alors!!!
Futura Ger 12

Followers of the vaporous, boreal undertakings of British saxophonist John Surman are going to be thrown for a loop by this session. Far from the punctilious, withdrawn playing he has exhibited over the past two decades, here’s the 26-year-old reedist as a romping, stomping New Thinger who could easily blow the present day Surman off the stand.

Of course inspiration has a lot to do with the company you keep. And this 1970 session is actually a collusion between the saxophonist’s Anglo-American trio of the day -- filled out by bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin, both Yanks -- with two Frenchman -- percussionist Jean-Pierre Drouet and the chameleon-like woodwind master Michel Portal. MORE