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February 4 , 2013

John Surman wins Album of the Year awards

John Surman “Saltash Bells” has won the Jazz FM as Album of the Year. The Jazz FM Award, given by the British radio station in association with Delta Airlines, follows hard on the heels of the UK’s Jazz Journal Critics Poll which similarly found “Saltash Bells” taking first place, pooling more votes than any other ‘jazz’ album released in 2012. This solo disc, on which Surman’s saxophones and clarinets are set against his own, evocative electronic soundscapes has attracted very many positive press notices.

“The saxophonist’s first solo album since 1994 is a delight” wrote John Bungey in The Times. “Surman, the hard-blower of countless Britjazz outfits, takes a more introspective solo path. The inspiration is church bells heard as he sailed off Cornwall as a boy. These are echoed in the chiming synthesizer patterns over which Surman improvises on saxophones, clarinets and harmonica. All ten of these atmospheric tunes are inspired by the landscapes of the South West, his bass clarinet rising over the synths of 'On Staddon Heights' like sun piercing mist.”

“Saltash Bells” is the latest in the distinguished line of Surman solo albums which includes the ECM recordings “Upon Reflection” (1979), “Withholding Pattern” (1984), “Private City” (1987), “Road To Saint Ives” (1990) and “A Biography Of The Rev. Absalom Dawe” (1994).