John Surman

Chris Jones, reviewing for the  BBC, has called John Surman “one of the foremost innovators when it comes to defining the saxophone's place in modern music” and The Times said of him: “In his ability to blend some of the methods and textures of modern jazz with a wholly English sensibility, Surman is a true original.”
 
John Surman was born in Devon in 1944 and has been playing jazz since 1962. He studied clarinet at the London College of Music, which did not then consider the saxophone a serious enough instrument to offer a course of study; jazz was an activity for the evenings and Surman was soon ubiquitous on the London scene, “a young man with a baritone, in search of the next jam session” as he himself put it.
 
Surman’s first appearance on ECM was on Barre Phillips’ Mountainscapes (1976). Over the years, he has taken [...]
Chris Jones, reviewing for the  BBC, has called John Surman “one of the foremost innovators when it comes to defining the saxophone's place in modern music” and The Times said of him: “In his ability to blend some of the methods and textures of modern jazz with a wholly English sensibility, Surman is a true original.”
 
John Surman was born in Devon in 1944 and has been playing jazz since 1962. He studied clarinet at the London College of Music, which did not then consider the saxophone a serious enough instrument to offer a course of study; jazz was an activity for the evenings and Surman was soon ubiquitous on the London scene, “a young man with a baritone, in search of the next jam session” as he himself put it.
 
Surman’s first appearance on ECM was on Barre Phillips’ Mountainscapes (1976). Over the years, he has taken part in a host of collaborations, as leader, sideman and guest: with, among others, Miroslav Vitous, Jack De Johnette, Paul Bley, John Abercrombie, Tomasz Stanko and his partner, Karin Krog; from the “reclamation” of the 16th-century songs of John Dowland  In Darkness Let Me Dwell  with singer John Potter to Anouar Brahem’s Thimar, on which he partners the Tunisian oud player Brahem and bassist Dave Holland. Surman has also worked with Chris Laurence and the Trans4mation Quartet. Two CDs have resulted to date, Coruscating (1999) and The Spaces In Between (2006); John Eyles called the latter “a triumph”.
 
Surman's solo albums occupy a special place in his discography; a line of distinguished recordings began in 1972 with Westering Home (Island), which already made plain his abiding love of English and Celtic folk music, and his interest in potential of the synthesiser, “a tool for sculpting texture and atmosphere”.  His solo work continued with the ECM albums Upon Reflection (1979), Withholding Pattern (1984), Private City (1987), The Road To St Ives (1990) and A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe (1994). Saltash Bells, released in 2013, became one of John Surman's most acclaimed albums, topping the annual Jazz Journal Critics’ Poll and garnering many other awards. John Fordham in the Guardian praised its “buoyant, engaging lyricism”.
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YEAR DATE Artist VENUE LOCATION
2024 July 21 John Surman Quartet w/ Rob Luft, Rob Waring,Thomas Strønen

"Words Unspoken"

Inntöne Jazzfestival Diersbach, Austria Event
2024 September 08 John Surman Quartet w/ Rob Luft, Rob Waring,Thomas Strønen

"Words Unspoken"

Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin, Germany Event