onsdag 25 januari 2017

John Surman - Jazz in Britain 68-69 (Rare Jazz Album UK 1972)


220:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Utgången utgåva sedan 2008.)

Album contains five previously unreleased masters recorded at various sessions in 1968 and 1969.

John Surman's Jazz in Britain 68-69 is an overview disc of his '60s band and one of the more enjoyable vintage British jazz records to come down the pipe in a while. These tunes are not the same ones that appeared on earlier albums or compilations. Vocalion has released these five tracks of vanguard European jazz with the hope that since some of these cuts are not well-known it will appeal to collectors of the material.

These tunes come from a number of different sessions, as evidenced by the alternate drummers -- Alan Jackson and Tony Oxley -- and the use of different instrumentation, like the three-horn modal piece "Bouquet Garni," from 1968 that places Surman in the company of only two other horn players (Alan Skidmore and Mike Osborne) and no rhythm section. For most of the other tracks, actually, Oxley is the drummer, Kenny Wheeler plays flugelhorn, and John Taylor plays piano (acoustic and electric). The music here is all over the place stylistically, but it hardly matters because all the players are fully engaged, and as an ensemble, they all shine and were seemingly looking forward to the impact the new jazz would have. A fine sounding, well-presented compilation by Vocalion and Decca.

John Surman was one of the very few saxmen in England to find a significant audience in rock during the late '60s, playing gigs regularly at venues like the Marquee Club in London. Also a clarinetist of some renown, and no slouch on keyboards either, the atmospheric sounds that Surman creates on his horns has been a major asset to the ECM label ever since the late '70s; but, before that, he was an extremely prolific artist on Deram, Futura, Dawn, and Island, cutting seven solo albums between 1968 and 1974 on those mainstream pop-oriented labels, as well as recording with Morning Glory on Island. One of England's top jazz players of the past several decades, Surman is particularly strong on the baritone. Surman played in jazz workshops while still in high school.


He studied at the London College of Music and London University Institute of Education in the mid-'60s, played with Alexis Korner and Mike Westbrook until the late '60s, and recorded with the latter until the mid-'70s. He was voted best soloist at the 1968 Montreux Festival while heading his band. Surman worked with Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Dave Holland, Chris McGregor, and John McLaughlin in the '60s, and toured Europe with the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland big band in 1970. Surman toured and recorded with Barre Phillips and Stu Martin in the late '60s and early '70s, and again in the late '70s, adding Albert Mangelsdorff to the group. They called themselves the Trio, then Mumps. Surman played with Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore in the sax trio SOS in the mid-'70s. He also collaborated with the Carolyn Carlson dance company at the Paris Opera through the mid- and late '70s.

Surman recorded with Stan Tracey and Karin Krog, while working with Miroslav Vitous and Azimuth. He led the Brass Project in the early '80s, and played in Collier's big band and Gil Evans' British orchestra. Surman toured with Evans again in the late '80s. He began recording as a leader for Pye in the early '70s, and did sessions for Ogun and ECM. Surman continued recording in the '80s, mostly for ECM. He worked with Terje Rypdal, Jack DeJohnette, Pierre Favre, Bengt Hallberg, Archie Shepp, Warne Marsh, and Red Mitchell, among others. Surman has made many recordings for ECM, spanning from free form to mood music, and he remains one of the label's most consistently stimulating artists.

01. Bouquet Garni
Saxophone [Baritone] – John Surman
Saxophone [Tenor] – Alan Skidmore
Written By – Cooke
Saxophone [Alto] – Mike Osborne

02. Shepherd Oak
Electric Piano – John Taylor
Saxophone [Baritone] – John Surman
Flugelhorn – Harry Beckett
Saxophone [Tenor] – Alan Skidmore
Written-By – Surman*
Bass Guitar – Harry Miller
Drums – Alan Jackson
Trombone – Malcolm Griffiths
Saxophone [Alto] – Mike Osborne

03.a Bessie Pt. 1
Bass Guitar – Harry Miller
Electric Piano – John Taylor
Piano – John Surman
Drums – Alan Jackson
Written-By – Surman*

03.b Bessie Pt. 2
Bass – Harry Miller
Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler
Saxophone [Tenor] – Alan Skidmore
Written-By – Surman*
Drums – Tony Oxley
Piano – John Taylor

04. Circles On Ice
Bass – Harry Miller
Saxophone [Tenor] – Alan Skidmore
Written By – Warren
Drums – Tony Oxley
Piano – John Taylor
Trumpet – Kenny Wheeler

05. Winter Song
Bass – Harry Miller
Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler
Saxophone [Tenor] – Alan Skidmore
Written-By – Surman
Drums – Tony Oxley
Piano – John Taylor