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John Surman
Coruscating

John Surman soprano and baritone saxophones, bass and contrabass clarinets
Chris Laurence double-bass
Rita Manning violin
Keith Pascoe violin
Bill Hawkes viola
Nick Cooper cello
 
At Dusk
Dark Corners
Stone Flower
Moonless Midnight
Winding Passages
An Illusive Shadow
Crystal Walls
For The Moment

Recorded January 1999
ECM 1702
 
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Background
Related Recordings

A new chapter opens in the work of one of Europe's most consistently adventurous musicians. "Coruscating" features finely crafted and richly-melodic music for strings by John Surman, with the composer and his long-time associate Chris Laurence deployed as primary soloists and improvisers. The music heard on "Coruscating" was, in live performance, one of the big successes of ECM's 30th Anniversary Festival in Brighton and was also hailed as one of the highlights of the Bath Festival. Reviewing the material, The Times of London compared its sonorities to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. Jazz, though, remains a crucial component of the material. Tracks such as "Stone Flower" reveal Surman's love of Duke Ellington. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Ellington's great baritone saxophone, Harry Carney, one of Surman's primary influences and a player to whom John has often been compared by the press.