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Coruscating

John Surman Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 29.95
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John Surman’s solo albums occupy a special and important place in his discography. “Saltash Bells” is the first since 1994’s “A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe”, and it joins a line of distinguished recordings that begins with “Westering Home” (Island, 1972) and continues with the ECM albums “Upon Reflection” (1979), ... Read more in Amazon's John Surman Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B00004SDRH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. At Dusk
2. Dark Corners
3. Stone Flower
4. Moonlight Midnight
5. Winding Passages
6. An Illusive Shadow
7. Crystal Walls
8. For The Moment

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Saxophonist John Surman is best known for such stunning overdubbed improvisations as Upon Reflection and Private City and for his freely inventive Stranger Than Fiction quartet. But he is also a composer of stature. His oratorio Proverbs And Songs made it onto the Mercury Prize shortlist in 1998, and in Coruscating he focuses again on writing. The eight compositions here owe as much to the English pastoral tradition of Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Bridge as to the jazz tradition of, say, Ellington, combining a string quartet with two jazz soloists, Surman and bassist Chris Laurence. Elegiac, in places melancholic, but never less than ravishing, the pieces achieve a fine balance between formal composition and freewheeling improvisation. Surman's ethereal soprano sax and throaty baritone sax and bass clarinet dominate proceedings, notably on the sublime "Stone Flower", a heartfelt tribute to Ellington's baritone master, Harry Carney, while Laurence consistently reminds us why he is so in demand as a bass player par excellence. Hugely rewarding, and much recommended, this set is the exception to the rule that saxophone and strings rarely work well together. --Simon Adams

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A. Zona
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
John Surman (soprano and baritone saxophones, bass and contrabass clarinets), Chris Laurence (double-bass) and a string quartet playing these beautiful eight tracks recorded January 1999, all original compositions by Surman, total time 54 minutes. Ethereal and meditative music as you would expect from ECM, with a very nice balance between jazz-influenced improvisations and contemporary classical music. Full of many captivating moments when the sax (or clarinet) interacts with the string quartet, mostly in the lower register. To the bass the task of dictating the rhythm in the crescendos. I don't know many recordings of this kind, however this work recalls me the 1961 release Focus by Stan Getz. Similar mood, similar balance between sax and strings, similar sound. A stimulating and intriguing work totally worth your listening time if you are interested in jazz meets contemporary classical music experiments.
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23 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
On John Surman and Christopher Laurence's Coruscating, sax, bass and classical strings swoop clear and free as October skies - with no kitsch in sight this is Millennial music for our isle full of noises. Lacking the sometimes overbearing, older sister gravitas of Jan Garbarek's Officium project, and with no hint of minimalistic make-do (the music is too generous for that) there is a shy smile loose in these tunes that sounds wonderfully like the freedom for happy and sad thoughts to mingle in the smoke and the spray, not quite able to tell one another apart.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful blend of Jazz and Chamber music 19 Nov 2000
By David Watts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
John Surman really is a truly wonderful player. On this CD he is joined by strings and a bass player - Chris Laurence. The opening track - "At Dusk" is very laid back and somewhat morose, very atmospheric and cerebral. Later on the CD comes to life a bit.
The biggest surprise is the work of Laurence who works outside of the setting playing bass solos and some melody. His inclusion was a flash of brilliance. He it at once working both inside and outside of the tunes here.
Surman then is his usual self - nothing out of the ordinary. Think of this as the Brass Project without all that brass :) Definitely worth the price on this one. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Performance 1 Nov 2008
By J. Pour - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a warm and lovely, superbly performed modern chamber suite with improvisation. The improvisational statements or segments are never out of context and are as lovely and thoughtful as the composed. If you enjoy classical chamber works, then I suspect you would enjoy this one as well, which should be more properly assigned to the classical genre.
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant craftsman 19 April 2013
By Frank Auerbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
brilliant craftsman. There's a seamless beauty here, composition and improvisation becoming one. Beginning with the baroque clarity of melody on "At Dusk," Coruscating develops often dark, looming textures.
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