Coruscating

COMPOSERS: John Surman
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: John Surman
PERFORMER: John Surman (ss, bs, b-cl, contrab cl), Chris Laurence (b), Rita Manning, Keith Pascoe (vn), Bill Hawkes (va), Nick Cooper (vc)
CATALOGUE NO: 543 033-2

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Over a rich, multi-textured string backing, and perfectly complemented by Chris Laurence’s sonorous bass, John Surman shows off all his immediately recognisable reed sounds: piercingly pure soprano, elegantly gruff baritone, dignified, evocative bass clarinet.

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Coruscating may not have quite the extraordinary crossover appeal of the same label’s Jan Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble albums, but it shares their musicianly poise and Surman, like Garbarek, is evidently steeped in his country’s folk and traditional music. CP