World of Jazz Podcast #05 – John Surman in the ’90s

Saint Ives

This time around a focus on the work of the great UK jazzman John Surman – specifically focusing on his output as a leader, and a sideman, during the 1990s, with one exception from the 197os. The majority of the music is on the ECM lable which has been Surman’s main musical home since 1979. Surman is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist with his expertise on a range of horns and keyboards being evidenced across a wide selection of album releases. He also writes in a variety of styles and the mix reflects the eclectic nature of his output.

Given his massive output of albums, and his similar vast number of guest appearances I have focused on a particularly fruitful period in in his career starting with a solo project and then moving through a range of different line-ups, with a slight detour for an amazing sextet performance from 1973.

You can listen to the show here……

  • John Surman – Mevagissey – The Road to St. Ives (1990) Solo project
  • John Surman – Twice Said Once – Adventure Playground (1991) Quartet with Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Tony Oxley.
  • John Taylor and John Surman – Ambleside Days – Ambleside Days (1992) Duo
  • Albert Manglesdorff – Triplet Circle – Room 1220 (1992) Quintet with Nils Henning Orsted Pederson, Eddie Jones and Daniel Humair.
  • Paul Bley – Interface – In The Evenings Out There (1991) The same quartet as the Adventure Playground album.
  • John Abercrombie – November – Rise And Fall (1993)  Quartet with Peter Erskine and Marc Johnson
  • John Surman & John Warren – Silent Lake – The Brass Project (1993) Septet conducted by John Warren
  • John Surman – Running Sands – Stranger Than Fiction (1994) Quartet with John Taylor, Chris Laurence and John Marshall
  • John Surman – Iron Man – Morning Glory (1973) A sextet recording from the early 70s which demonstrates the variety of Surman’s output over the years – John Taylor, Terje Rypdal, Malcolm Griffiths, Chris Laurence and John Marshall.
  • John Surman – Unwritten Letter – Nordic Quartet (1995) obviously a quartet given the title with Karin Krog, Terje Rypdal and Vigliek Storaas
  • John Surman – Abraham Arise! – Proverbs and Songs (1996) a live album featuring a suite of choral settings of Old Testament texts. It was recorded in 1996 at Salisbury Cathedral with organist John Taylor and the  Salisbury Festival Chorus conducted by Howard Moody
  • Misha Alperin – City Dance – First Impression (1997) sextet with Arkady Shilkloper, Terje Gewelt, Jon Christensen and Hans-Christian Kjos Sorenson.
  • Anouar Brahem – Houdouth – Thimar (1998) Trio with Dave Holland
  • John Surman and Karin Krog – The Nightingale – Bluesand (1999) Duo with Karin Krog
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World Of Jazz Podcast #01

Mixcloud Link

The first jazz podcast since my departure from Salford City Radio includes the following:

  • Don Grolnick – Genie – Nightown : Don’s second and final Blue Note release from 1992, he died far too young four years later, a stunning line of Ehrlich, Holland, Lovano and Brecker make this a must listen release.
  • Jan Garbarek – Gula Gula – I Took Up The Runes : a jazzy cover of Mari Persen’s tune sets the tone for a great mid-period album for Garbarek
  • Bennie Maupin – The Jewel In The Lotus – The Jewel In The Lotus : from 1974 and very much in the shadow of Bitches Brew – Maupin assembled a stellar line-up for this amazing album – most of his Headhunters chums are along for the ride and the arrangements are some of the best in jazz.
  • Ken Vandermark’s Joe Harriot Project – Shadows – Straight Lines – from 1999 a  celebration of Harriott’s compositions. With KV you have  Jeb Bishop on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass and Tim Mulvenna on drums.
  • Henry Threadgill & Zooid – A Day Off – Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry SPP : a 2012 release with Henry doing what he does best by being completely unique and uncategorisable.
  • John Surman – Double Tripper – Nordic Quartet : typical ECM from 1995 – not known as Surman’s best work but highly entertaining and ambient.
  • Joshua Redman – Before – Passage Of Time : see below
  • Joshua Redman – Free Speech Phase 1 : Declaration – Passage Of Time : featuring Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson – this 2001 album is a good representation of Redman’s writing abilities and the band is good on both the written and improvised sections.
  • Ponga – Naugahide – Ponga – Entirely improvised from start to finish,the album is a collection of   jam sessions  featuring  Wayne Horvitz (keyboards),  Bobby Previte (drums)  Skerik (sax) and Dave Palmer (keyboards). Released in 1999.
  • Paul Lytton, Phillip Wachsmann – The Redefining of Methods and Means – Some Other Season : Also from 1999 a collection of improvised pieces which hang precariously between jazz and ambient.
  • Miles Davis – Tatu Pt 2 Calypso Frelimo – Dark Magus : Live at Carnegie Hall in 1974 with Miles deep into his electric phase.

World of Jazz – 5th April 2012

A slightly up tempo and funky edition of the show, with slow bits in between  – listen here :

1 Kojato and the Afro Latin Cougaritas Oudo Makasan All About Jazz
2 Enrico Pieranunzi Every Smile of Yours Permutation
3 Kenny Dorham Sunrise in Mexico Whistle Stop
4 John Surman Carnival John Surman
5 Kahil El Zabar Miles Mode Africa N’Da Blues
6 David S. Ware Weave Parts 1 and 2 Threads
7 Weather Report Cucumber Slumber Mysterious Traveller
8 Sun Ra Arkestra Where Pathways Meet Lanquidity
9 Dave Douglas and Keystone Dog Star Moonshine

World of Jazz – 29th July 2011

A mixed bag of tunes including a couple of tracks from the first Amy Winehouse album:

  • Amy Winehouse – In My Bed – Frank
  • John Zorn Bar Kokhba Masada Ensemble – Mo’Ed – Bar Kokhba
  • David S. Ware String Ensemble – Sufic Passages – Threads
  • Matthew Shipp – Naima – Gravitational Systems
  • Jon Lloyd – Take The Coltrane – Four and Five
  • Vienna Art Orchestra – Reflections on Gnossienne No. 1 – The Minimalism of Erik Satie
  • John Surman, John Warren – We’ll Make It – Tales from the Algonquin
  • Matana Roberts – Thrills – The Chicago Project
  • Soft Works – Willie’s Knee – Abracadabra
  • Amy Winehouse – Help Yourself – Frank

To listen to the show click on the link below