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Album Review

This 1980 quartet session, unavailable in the U.S., features a young Kenny Kirkland on piano along with John Surman on soprano sax and bass clarinet and Jon Christensen on drums. Vitous wrote all but the title track, a tension-filled group improvisation. The dramatic "Silver Lake" begins the disc with rubato filigree and evolves into a driving yet impressionistic feel. "Beautiful Place To" follows, with its odd, Zen-like repeated melody, leading into "Trees," another rubato exploration with a short, precise melodic theme at its core. "Recycle," the album's high point, is prefaced by a beautiful piano and bass clarinet duo passage that sets the stage for hard-swinging improvisation. Vitous is unaccompanied on "Concerto in Three Parts," giving his warm, ardent arco style an extended feature (he bows throughout much of the disc as well). The lilting "You Make Me So Happy" serves as the finale. Recommended but hard to find, First Meeting documents the strength of Vitous' writing and playing and also yields a satisfying encounter with the late Kirkland, early in his career. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


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...
Full bio
First Meeting, John Surman
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  • 10,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: May 1979

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