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Album Review

This ECM CD is only a mixed success. John Surman is the lead voice most of the way and his playing (particularly on baritone and bass clarinet) is typically atmospheric and emotional. However, singer Karin Krog (who is on around half of the songs) only makes an impression on the closing "Wild Bird"; otherwise her long tones sound out of place. Pianist Vigleik Storaas is mostly used in an accompanying role while guitarist Terje Rypdal's feedback-dominated tone is primarily utilized for color. The group never really meshes their disparate voices together and few of the spacey (and sometimes meandering) group originals other than "Wild Bird" are at all memorable. All of the principals have sounded better elsewhere.


Born: 30 August 1944 in Tavistock, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Nordic Quartet, John Surman
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  • €8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1995

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