O saxofonista,compositor e multiinstrumentista inglês John Surman nasceu em Tavistock, Devon, no dia 30 de agosto de 1944. Os sons atmosféricos que Surman criava nos seus instrumentos de sopro, acabaram atraindo a ECM no final de 70, mas antes disso, ele tinha sido um artista que já tinha gravado em vários selos(Deram, Futura, Dawn e Island) entre 1968 e 1974.
Um dos maiores músicos de jazz da Inglaterra nas últimas décadas, Surman tem sua preferência no sax-barítono. Surman estudou na London College of Music e na London University Institute of Education em meados dos anos sessenta e tocou com Alexis Korner e Mike Westbrook até o final de 60.
Em 1968 ele foi votado como melhor solista no Festival de Montreux, enquanto líder de banda. Surman trabalhou com Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Dave Holland, Chris McGregor e John McLaughlin nos anos sessenta; excursionou pela Europa com a Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band em 1970.Surman viajou e gravou com Barre Phillips e Stu Martin no final de sessenta e começo dos anos setenta, nessa época com Albert Mangelsdorff no grupo.
Surman tocou com Mike Osborne e Alan Skidmore no trio de sax SOS em meados dos anos setenta. Ele também colaborou com a companhia de dança de Carolyn Carlson na Ópera de Paris no final dos anos setenta. Surman gravou com Stan Tracey e Karin Krog, ao mesmo tempo que trabalhava com Miroslav Vitous e Azimuth. Ele liderou o Brass Project no começo de oitenta e tocou na Gil Evans British Orchestra. Surman continuou gravando nos anos oitenta, principalmente para a ECM.
Ele trabalhou com Terje Rypdal, Jack DeJohnette, Pierre Favre, Bengt Hallberg, Archie Shepp, Warne Marsh e Red Mitchell, entre outros.
Click para degustar a sua música.
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’.Surman also lead his own Octet in 1968 and performed in the big band directed by Mike Gibbs, but the formation of The Trio, in 1969, can be seen as a watershed in terms of his international profile. This unit, with expatriate Americans Barre Phillips (bass) and the late Stu Martin (drums) became one of the busiest and musically vital groups on the European circuit. Surman also featured (with Karin Krog) in the European DownBeat pollwinners group that toured Japan in 1970, further enhancing his reputation on the international front.
The Trio SOS, with Alan Skidmore and Mike Osborne proved another ground breaking project, combining electronics with the dynamic soloing of three fine saxophonists. He had also begun a long-term collaboration with the American choreographer/dancer Carolyn Carlson, and was based at the Paris Opera with her company for some time.In 1978, he recorded in duo both with Stan Tracey (Sonatinas) and also the Norwegian singer Karin Krog (Cloudline Blue). In addition he toured and recorded with the quartet of bassist Miroslav Vitous until 1982. His debut solo album, ‘Upon Reflection’ was recorded for ECM Records in 1979, launching a fruitful relationship with the company that continues to the present day, and includes four further solo records. Other albums include ‘Such Winters Of Memory’, with Karin Krog and Pierre Favre; and the 5-star Down Beat-rated ‘The Amazing Adventures Of Simon Simon ‘ with Jack DeJohnette.
During the 80s and 90s, John maintained an impressively high output of quality work. As an instrumentalist, he played in duo with DeJohnette, Albert Mangelsdorff, Karin Krog, Barre Phillips, John Taylor, and performed in more open group formations with peer group musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Elvin Jones, Jon Christensen and Mangelsdorff.
In addition he toured and recorded in quartet with Paul Bley, Bill Frisell and Paul Motian. Surman took part in several tours over a period of years with the great Gil Evans Orchestra - being a member of the band which performed and recorded live in Perugia with Sting, in addition to a number other special concerts that the band staged with the likes of Van Morrison and John McLaughlin..The duo with Karin Krog remains an important part of his activity, and, on a number of occasions, this has been augmented by a choir of mixed voices. In the UK, he has toured twice for the Contemporary Music Network, once with the 10-piece Brass Project, and later in duo with Jack DeJohnette.
As a composer, John has continued to work in the contemporary dance field, with Carolyn Carlson and for other companies in Europe. He wrote’ Private City’ for Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet with choreography by Susan Crow- the music is featured on the ECM album of the same name. He was Composer in Residence at the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 1989, producing new work for the Surman/Krog duo plus choir, and re-forming the Brass Project (this group has also performed at the North Sea Festival, and at festivals in Portugal, France, Germany and the UK. The Surman/DeJohnette duo devised new music with the Balanescu Quartet, commissioned by the 1990 Camden Jazz Festival.
A solo visit to India took place in October 2003. His duo with John Taylor toured in China towards the end of 1997 and continues to perform regularly throughout Europe and beyond.
John once said: If I look back to what turned me on about music, it was what I heard before I ever came across any jazz."
The surprise, and the enduring pleasure, of Surman's art is the contrast of simple, haunting melody, lush orchestral textures and intense improvisation.