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John Surman


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Born in Tavistock, Devon in 1944, composer/multi-instrumentalist John Surman is one of the key figures in a generation of European musicians who have crucially expanded the international horizons of jazz during the past thirty years or so. Long acknowledged as an improviser of world class, Surman has also composed a body of work which extends far beyond the normal range of the jazz repertoire. Already, by the late 60s, it was clear that Surman was a phenomenon. He started out as a teenager playing the music of fellow Devonian Mike Westbrook, and then amazed the London establishment with displays of extravagant instrumental proficiency combined with a passionate, rumbustious imagination.

As a soloist, Surman’s early career took shape in the melting pot that produced a number of fine British musicians during the 60s. As well as his association with Westbrook, there was varied experience with the blues of Alexis Korner, hard bop with Ronnie Scott’s octet, mainstream jazz with Humphrey Lyttleton, South African township influences with the Brotherhood of Breath and jazz-rock with John McLaughlin. During this period he forged lasting relationships with composer John Warren, pianist John Taylor and bassist Dave Holland, with whom he co-led an exciting trio featured on his first album for Deram John Surman.


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  • Kyonil


    28 Apr 6:33am Reply
  • RussellChap

    love stuff, almost ambient.

    3 Sep 2014 Reply
  • freeyourm1nd


    22 Aug 2014 Reply
  • ChelseaSmile95

    I been grindin' mah whole life, nigga

    11 Jul 2014 Reply
  • SunMan24

    есть, все же, в этой музыке, что-то божественно-иррациональное

    16 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Walwynwalwyn

    I had a couple of Surman's LPs from back in the 1980s and last year got them on CD. At the same time I bought "Saltash Bells" as a download but for some reason or other didn't play it for a month or more. What a revelation when I finally did. Its one of my favourite albums.

    9 Nov 2013 Reply
  • TRAK92


    15 Jun 2013 Reply
  • jazzornoo

    Hasta Siempre or Kora Song

    25 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Extender777

    No.3 is great!!!

    22 Mar 2013 Reply
  • JBThazard

    Upon Reflection is unique and amazing. I must hear all his other albums.

    18 Jul 2012 Reply
  • jeep1e

    his new album Saltash Bells is just magic.... Previously the Road to St. Ives was definitely my favourite John Surman album. Now I'm not sure as Saltash Bells is right up there....

    3 Jul 2012 Reply
  • thedeadspeaker

    Such Winters of Memory is such an underrated album

    18 Dec 2011 Reply
  • hanihihi

    The Spaces in Between <3

    30 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Eyoki

    Why does this page say he's with Universal? I thought he recorded for ECM.

    21 Nov 2010 Reply
  • scatrabies

    Just put the Road to St Ives on repeat forever and you won't go far wrong....

    22 Mar 2010 Reply
  • barrospablito

    Surman is great and Kayna22 is banned.

    1 Jan 2010 Reply
  • joseharvey

    Wow, hört sich sehr gut!

    30 Oct 2009 Reply
  • radiognome

    so.. how is the new album?

    29 Oct 2009 Reply
  • kungulungu

    As for me, Private City is his best album..

    6 Sep 2009 Reply
  • kolory_raju

    fantastic album!

    27 Jun 2009 Reply
  • All 43 shouts

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