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The saxophonist’s first solo album since 1994 is a delight. Surman, the hard-blower of countless Britjazz outfits, takes a more introspective solo path. The inspiration is churchbells heard as he sailed of Cornwall as a boy. These are echoed in the chiming synthesizer patterns over which Surman improvises on saxophones, clarinets and harmonica. All ten of these atmospheric tunes are inspired by the landscapes of the South West, his bass clarinet rising over the synths of 'On Staddon Heights' like sun piercing mist.
John Bungey, The Times

Surman ist […] kein akustischer Landschaftsmaler. Wie ein keltischer Barde beschwört er vielmehr die Geister der Natur. Seine Synthesizer-Patterns liefern dabei kein naives New-Age-Geklingel, sondern zusammen mit der sonoren Bassklarinette jene Soundscapes, die seinen ins Unendliche mäandernden Soli mit Sopran- und Baritonsaxofon den Weg bahnen.
Karl Lippegaus, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Like all his solo works this is inspired by memories of Surman’s West Country boyhood, of salling on the Saltash Passage to the sound of church bells: “the echoing bells, the river going by, gulls turning in the sky”. The textures shifting subtly, melodies – some delicate, others rough and jolly – drift in and out. The playing and recording, needless to say, are Immaculate.
Dave Gelly, The Observer

Lilting soprano sax dances over gruff and urgent baritone, there are solitary bass clarinet ruminations and dense and dancey synthesised rhythms. Here the lap of water in a muddy inlet is palpable, church bells echo from afar and a country dance held at “The Crooked Inn” is brought to life. Gently bucolic, with a hint that all may not be well.
Mike Hobart, Financial Times

Over gentle, wheeling electronic backdrops, Surman’s reeds soar in multi-tracked dialogue with themselves. The sound of seagulls surely lurks behind these high-ecstatic duets. […]
In all it’s a delight.
Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph

Inspiriert haben ihn für seine Kompositionen Erinnerungen an Kindheitserlebnisse im Südwesten Englands. Es müssen, wie man hört schöne Tage voller Leichtigkeit gewesen sein.
Stern

This new recording […] is surely his finest solo performance yet, taking him to a new level of creativity and executed with absolute sureness and authority. […] The title track refers to the bells which Surman heard as a child while sailing with his father on Saltash Passage between Devon and Cornwall. He feels now that this inspired the works which eventually emerged as synthesizer loops, over which he could improvise. And his improvising on the new recording is endlessly imaginative. Highly recommended.
John Watson, Jazz Camera

Große Musik – zum Zuhören und Tagträumen.
Hanspeter Vetsch, NZZ am Sonntag

John Surman est un immense poète. Sauf que sa poésie, au lieu d’emprunter la voie des mots, passe par l’éclat cuivré des saxos ou la chaleur boisée des clarinettes. Ce n’est jamais aussi net que lorsqu’il s’exprime en solo, comme sur son dernier opus Saltash Bells. Le procédè du rerecording lui permet, en tissant le sons, d’occuper à lui seul tout l’espace. D’un morceau à l’autre, il donne à entendre ses diverses voix : celle qui bougonne, celle qui se fait solennelle, la voix malicieuse, la méditative ou la mélancolique…
Richard Sournes, Le Républicain Lorrain

Promenade automnale dans une campagne anglaise brumeuse, ce paisible solo du poly-souffleur John Surman étonnera sans doute les habitués du Surman véhément et « free ». Sans autre pulsation que le souffle des saxophones baryton, ténor, clarinettes alto, basse at contrebasse (et au détour de « Sailling Westward », un hamonica surprenant), le Britannique déploie une imagination mélodique inouïe. […] Ce n’est pas un hasard si, ce disque était un projet pour le cinéma documentaire. Maintenant, faites votre propre film.
Pierre-Jean Crittin, So Jazz

The multi-reedman’s first solo album for 18 years, and an amzing 40 years after is first one, ‘Westering Home’, makes perfect Sunday listening. It is not insistent, it doesn’t grab you by the collar and shake you, but it insinuates itself into your consciousness and slowly envelopes you in a most absorbing way.
Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

Erhaben und ängstlich, ein wenig froh und noch öfter melancholisch sind Surmans Reflexionen über die Mächte, die einen durchs Leben ziehen. So gut er in Bands ist, noch intensiver tönt er ganz allein. Delikatessen für die Ohren sind das.
Samir Köck, Die Presse

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