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Jazz - Released January 19, 2018 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 3F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Like every great instrument blower, John Surman has a sound you’ll recognize from the first breath. A sound which is as much fed by the culture of his British motherland (local folklore is one of the components of his music) as by the culture from other countries. The saxophonist and clarinetist has crossed paths with pianist Nelson Ayres—well-known by the fans of Brazilian jazz for his work with Airto Moreira and Milton Nascimento—during a tour in South America. And it’s in Oslo that he met the American vibraphonist Rob Waring, an expat in Scandinavia… With Invisible Threads, the three men gathered to perform a programme mostly composed of Surman’s original pieces, recorded in Oslo in July 2017, under the artistic supervision of Mr. ECM, Manfred Eicher. This program is like an ode to melodies that transcend dialects. Once again, John Surman unfolds very singular and beautiful narrations, parcels of internal joys that are almost melancholic, at the heart of which the improvisations are drunk like divine elixirs. This jazz is of course different. And as the saxophonist has been a resident at ECM for decades, he’s also one of the components of the sound of the label from Munich, now more than ever. © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 25, 2012 | ECM

Distinctions Choc de Classica - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released September 1, 1990 | ECM

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released October 1, 1997 | ECM

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
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Jazz - Released September 5, 1988 | ECM

English multi-instrumentalist John Surman has been known on a worldwide level, but never recognized as he deserved to be in the United States. A collaboration with John McLaughlin, or fellow Brits on the fusion or free jazz scene increased his cache a bit, but being a part of the ECM label had to have increased his visibility to a larger degree. This quite different recording of overdubbed woodwind and electronics has a suitable palate and soundscape profile for the European label, enhanced by the immaculate production values of the Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway, and fortified by Surman's heady and spacy revelations on this project of deep, introspective, and divine music. At his most heartfelt from the outset, a haunting refrain with flutes and recorder above synthesizers underpins a lilting bass clarinet melody on "Portrait of a Romantic," while the reverse sentiment of emptiness in a Terry Riley or Cluster like minimalism identifies "Not Love Perhaps" under Surman's soprano sax. "Roundelay" is stunning and unique to this set, with bass clarinet as an ostinato bass, buoying a full array of overdubbed saxophones sounding like an interactive quartet in a laid-back frame of sheer beauty. In full mezzo piano sonic control, a more religious and spiritual approach with multi-layered saxes and synths under the surface releases Surman's soprano again on "The Wanderer." Irish or Scottish ethnicity comes across clearly "On Hubbard's Hill" in 3/4 time, Surman's full-throated bass clarinet is overdubbed for "Levitation," and looped 2/4 repeat beats unleashes a churning, yet mystical and wondrous baritone sax line on a wow inducing "The Wizard's Song." There is one single tracked solo piece, as Surman's airy soprano with slight echo informs the perfectly titled "Undernote." This album, a fully realized project, has Surman exploiting all of the timbres and tones available to him in a manner he could not accomplish with other musicians in real time. It's a full exploration of his soul, from land, sea, and outer atmospheric galaxies, on wings of supersonic fancy and fantasy. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 25, 2012 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
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Jazz - Released January 26, 2004 | ECM

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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Jazz - Released June 19, 2009 | ECM

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Jazz - Released October 26, 1981 | ECM

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Jazz - Released September 1, 1995 | ECM

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Jazz - Released November 1, 1979 | ECM

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Jazz - Released September 1, 1992 | ECM

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2000 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 24, 2007 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 29, 1985 | ECM

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Jazz - Released September 1, 1983 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 18, 2002 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 19, 2018 | ECM

Booklet
Like every great instrument blower, John Surman has a sound you’ll recognize from the first breath. A sound which is as much fed by the culture of his British motherland (local folklore is one of the components of his music) as by the culture from other countries. The saxophonist and clarinetist has crossed paths with pianist Nelson Ayres—well-known by the fans of Brazilian jazz for his work with Airto Moreira and Milton Nascimento—during a tour in South America. And it’s in Oslo that he met the American vibraphonist Rob Waring, an expat in Scandinavia… With Invisible Threads, the three men gathered to perform a programme mostly composed of Surman’s original pieces, recorded in Oslo in July 2017, under the artistic supervision of Mr. ECM, Manfred Eicher. This program is like an ode to melodies that transcend dialects. Once again, John Surman unfolds very singular and beautiful narrations, parcels of internal joys that are almost melancholic, at the heart of which the improvisations are drunk like divine elixirs. This jazz is of course different. And as the saxophonist has been a resident at ECM for decades, he’s also one of the components of the sound of the label from Munich, now more than ever. © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released April 15, 2008 | ECM

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Jazz - Released March 1, 1995 | ECM