Saturday, 21 May 2011

John Surman - flash point: NDR Jazz Workshop - April ' 69

In 2005, Cuneiform shook jazz enthusiasts by releasing Way Back when, a lost October 1969 session led by heavyweight UK baritone and soprano saxophonist John Surman. This latest discovery is still more exciting, capturing six month performance recorded in a studio of Hamburg television earlier. Flashpoint looks beyond style of electric-Miles from Way Back when to reveal the hard-bop roots of the Surman.

For fans of 60s Brit-jazz, the band is an absolute dream team featuring the most dynamic players of the era: Alan Skidmore and Ronnie Scott on tenor, the late Mike Osborne, on alto saxophone, as well as the Canadian trumpeter Kenny WheelerSouth African bassist Harry Miller and drummer criminally underestimated Alan Jackson. They provide a big band heft that gives themes such as tinted Mayflower of the Surman of Western orchestral luxuriance.

Unsurprisingly, there is a sense of post-Coltrane in a large part of the session--not only in Surman scalding soprano solo, but also in arrangements: Once Upon a time eblouissant waltz and Mayflower modal lope owe much to the influential saxophonist mid-term work. For most of the time, although that - and despite a fairly eccentric of trombonist Malcolm Griffiths parp and whinny solo - Surman et al. avoid radical free-jazz tactics that Coltrane in his last years, and which were popular at the time of this sessiondeux years after his death. That said, the undeniable highlight here is the title song, an original Surman starts with a wall coruscating free-blowing (foreshadowing his more experimental work with the Trio) before settling quickly into a belter hard-bop maniacally up-tempo, providing a framework for contributions furious of Osborne and Skidmore fly day definitely.

The tire is the inclusion of a DVD, which presents the TV show German original from which cuts are taken. NET, clear images, in black and white brings vividly to life date, Surman a 24-year long hair flowing strongly in his solos. It offers a rare chance to attend the intensity of the eyes tight shut of Osborne and verdant mop - top Skidmore is very impressive too. As a snapshot of the 1960s deep jazz, British or otherwise, it is 100% gold.

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