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John Surman - Selected Recordings

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Selected Recordings

John Surman

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Like guitarist Terje Rypdal, with whom he has collaborated, British saxophonist, bandleader, and composer John Surman has had a career on the ECM label that has covered the terrain of new classical music from chamber to orchestral, jazz of the vanguard and groove varieties, new music, and even folk music. This personal selection of his offerings from the label from the years 1976-1999 gives listeners the opportunity to be stunned by his versatility and commitment, and the incredible depth he possesses in each of his chosen fields of inquiry, but given the sheer breadth of his oeuvre, it is impossible on a single disc to give an accurate representation. As a result, what is here is nothing short of stellar. Surman's chosen ramble over the course of his career is in aesthetic rather than chronological order, so listeners have "Druid's Castle" from the 1994 set A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe, a piece for solo soprano and baritone saxophones, kicking it off. Surprisingly, Surman offers "Number Six" from a Miroslav Vitous-led date in 1982 to follow, which is dovetailed with "Portrait of a Romantic," featuring another solo of bass clarinet, recorder, and synthesizer that feels informed by Delius. Thankfully, "The Returning Exile" from The Brass Project is included here, as is a brilliant piece from Adventure Playground in 1991 with sidemen Tony Oxley, Paul Bley, and Gary Peacock. But it is on the four or so solo pieces that the sheer mastery of Surman's command becomes evident, and for these listeners should be grateful.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Selected Recordings

John Surman

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1
Druid's Circle
John Surman
00:02:47

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1995 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
Number Six
Miroslav Vitous
00:05:51

Kenny Kirkland, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Miroslav Vitous, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - John Surman, Composer, Soprano Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Christensen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Miroslav Vitous Group, MainArtist

℗ 1981 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
Portrait Of A Romantic
Various Interprets
00:06:57

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Bass Clarinet, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1988 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
Ogeda
John Surman
00:04:36

Marc Johnson, Bass Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Abercrombie, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Erskine, Drums, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1993 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
The Returning Exile
John Surman
00:07:37

Henry Lowther, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Laurence, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - David Stewart, Bass Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jan Erik Kongshaug, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Producer, Bass Clarinet, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Marshall, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - John Warren, Conductor, MainArtist - Malcolm Griffiths, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1993 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
Edges Of Illusion
John Surman
00:10:09

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Bass Clarinet, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1979 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
The Buccaneers
John Surman
00:03:57

JACK DEJOHNETTE, Drums, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Soprano Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1981 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
The Snooper
Various Interprets
00:01:55

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1985 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
Mountainscape 8
Various Interprets
00:07:12

John Abercrombie, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Barre Phillips, Composer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stu Martin, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dieter Feichtner, Composer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Wieland, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1976 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
Figfoot
John Surman
00:04:30

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Bley, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Surman, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Peacock, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tony Oxley, Drums, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1992 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
Piperspool
John Surman
00:05:08

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer

℗ 1990 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

12
Gone To The Dogs
Terje Rypdal
00:03:57

Jan Erik Kongshaug, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Surman, Composer, Soprano Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Terje Rypdal, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Karin Krog, Voice, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Vigleik Storaas, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1995 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
Stone Flower
John Surman
00:05:46

Chris Laurence, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Cooper, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Rita Manning, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Surman, Composer, Baritone Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Markus Heiland, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bill Hawkes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Trans4mation, MainArtist - Keith Pascoe, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2000 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

Like guitarist Terje Rypdal, with whom he has collaborated, British saxophonist, bandleader, and composer John Surman has had a career on the ECM label that has covered the terrain of new classical music from chamber to orchestral, jazz of the vanguard and groove varieties, new music, and even folk music. This personal selection of his offerings from the label from the years 1976-1999 gives listeners the opportunity to be stunned by his versatility and commitment, and the incredible depth he possesses in each of his chosen fields of inquiry, but given the sheer breadth of his oeuvre, it is impossible on a single disc to give an accurate representation. As a result, what is here is nothing short of stellar. Surman's chosen ramble over the course of his career is in aesthetic rather than chronological order, so listeners have "Druid's Castle" from the 1994 set A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe, a piece for solo soprano and baritone saxophones, kicking it off. Surprisingly, Surman offers "Number Six" from a Miroslav Vitous-led date in 1982 to follow, which is dovetailed with "Portrait of a Romantic," featuring another solo of bass clarinet, recorder, and synthesizer that feels informed by Delius. Thankfully, "The Returning Exile" from The Brass Project is included here, as is a brilliant piece from Adventure Playground in 1991 with sidemen Tony Oxley, Paul Bley, and Gary Peacock. But it is on the four or so solo pieces that the sheer mastery of Surman's command becomes evident, and for these listeners should be grateful.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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