Surman and Warren Bolster Brass On Kings Place Retelling Of Their Traveller's Tale

It was during the late 1980s that John Surman (above) conceived of the idea of augmenting his regular working trio of Chris Laurence (double bass) and John Marshall (drums) but, wanting to avoid the obvious harmony instruments such as piano or guitar, decided on a brass choir and asked John Warren to arrange for it. Their first album, The Brass Project, was released by ECM in 1992 and 'The Traveller's Tale' received its debut performance at the very first London Jazz Festival in 1993. However, it was only in early 2017 that a near-forgotten recording of The Traveller's Tale from that year came to light, enabling its recent release on CD by Fledg'ling Records. Unsurprisingly, Kings Place's Room 2 was packed for an EFG London Jazz Festival event for which many in the audience had been waiting for almost a quarter century – the second-ever live performance of 'The Traveller's Tale' by Surman's and Warren's Brass Project.

With Surman standing stage left, facing inwards towards Laurence and Marshall and, beyond them, a nine-piece brass choir seated in two rows – five trumpets behind and four trombones in front – Warren directed from centre stage. 'Dawning' began with a few fragmentary notes from Surman's soprano saxophone, which soon evolved into a flow of short phrases, increasing in intensity as Laurence and Marshall joined the fray with restless rhythmic counterpoints. When the brass section finally entered it was to accompanying Surman, introducing fresh statements and to air its own fine trumpet and trombone soloists.

john-surman-john-warren-edit-ljf17-kingsplace-byjohnwatson

Warren, whose inspiration for this eight-part work was the life of travel and sea-faring adventure of his grandfather Jack Warren in the late 19th century, brings a deep basket of textures and voicings to the brass choir, presenting Surman, whether soloing on baritone or soprano saxes or bass clarinet, with so many musical ideas and moods to respond to. But Warren also left space for a breathtaking dialogue between bassist Laurence and drummer Marshall, affording plenty of opportunity for the soloists in the brass section, including trumpeters Tom Gardner and Luke Vice-Coles, as well as trombonists Harry Maund and Nabou Claerhout. The whole brass ensemble, all students at the Royal Academy of Music, had clearly worked hard under the benevolent guidance of their Head of Jazz, Nick Smart, to play with such precision, sensitivity and enthusiasm. Theirs was a major contribution to what was an extremely memorable performance.

– Charles Alexander
– Photos by John Watson

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Snarky Puppy return with new album Immig…

Grammy-winning groove crew Snarky Puppy return with a new studio...

Read More.....

Blue Note spearheads 80th Anniversary Ye…

The iconic Blue Note label will celebrate its milestone 80th...

Read More.....

John Turville dives in Head First – new …

Pianist and composer John Turville returns with a new album...

Read More.....

Uri Caine and Henri Texier dazzle while …

Jazzfestival Münster is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but has only...

Read More.....

Ezra Collective bring the Brit-Jazz Nois…

Much like in other recent editions of New York's Winter...

Read More.....

Yazz Ahmed and Jasper Høiby line-up for …

For some there is a Holy Grail in jazz: to...

Read More.....

Matthew Herbert marks Brexit with Big Ba…

Composer, conductor and sampling-supremo Matthew Herbert is set to release...

Read More.....

Joseph Jarman 14/09/37 – 9/01/19

  The recitation of 'Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City' by Dante...

Read More.....

Wandering Monster step up with 'Samsara…

Bass-led progressive jazz group Wandering Monster are set to release...

Read More.....

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Oded Tzur Quarte…

  The unfeasibly warm November weather was matched by the heat...

Read More.....

Edinburgh embraces the Thrill of Belgian…

Belgium may be better known for its beer than its...

Read More.....

Mitchener And Yarde Break Blues Boundari…

The blues is a lived and living truth, as much...

Read More.....

Ra's Arkestra Announces Annual Lewes Aff…

The Sun Ra Arkestra – led by that indomitable intergalactic...

Read More.....

Steve Williamson, Silje Nergaard and Tin…

Southampton’s Turner Sims music venue has announced an impressive line-up...

Read More.....

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner …

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner wins LetterOne Rising Stars Award California-based...

Read More.....

Nordic Wonders: Rune Grammofon Bring The…

Determined individuals who ignore categories define the Norwegian scene, in...

Read More.....

Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad

  The entire spectrum can dazzle at Jazztopad, a Polish festival in...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards return for 2019

The Jazz FM Awards return for a sixth time next...

Read More.....

Chick Corea, Madeleine Peyroux and Kamaa…

The organisers of the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which runs...

Read More.....

Peter Boizot 1929 – 2018

The press obituaries for Peter Boizot, who has died aged...

Read More.....

David Mossman – 17 July 1942 - 8 Decembe…

Ahead of starting the Vortex in 1988, there is nothing...

Read More.....

Greg Fox and Pulverize The Sound punish …

  The second phase of Poland’s Jazz Jantar festival involved five nights...

Read More.....

Astral Progression Ensemble and Irrevers…

  Jazz Jantar has been running in the northern Polish port...

Read More.....

Tippett & Bourne, Liane Carroll and…

The Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival will return for its...

Read More.....

Jessica Radcliffe poised an poetic for R…

In this centenary year of the end of the First...

Read More.....

Iridescent Ibrahim Leads Multi-Horn Boon…

The Barbican's foyer is still resounding to the tumultuous multi-horned...

Read More.....

Maisha raise Afro-futurist spirits at Gh…

Scrolling down the posts on Facebook, from people pleading for...

Read More.....

John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension Back F…

Legendary jazz-rock guitarist John McLaughlin has just announced a return...

Read More.....

Dave Douglas Supergroup Dazzles Among Ho…

  Guimarães is Portugal’s birthplace. Surrounded by verdant hills, this quiet...

Read More.....

Bill Laurance Goes Big At Southbank With…

  At certain moments during this concert, Bill Laurance looks like...

Read More.....

Trans-Atlantic Team-Up: Chicago X London…

Much has been written about the jazz scene that has...

Read More.....

Dalston Devils: Branch and Brandon Lewis…

The Vortex and Cafe OTO are separated by a few...

Read More.....

Mike and Leni Stern light up Ronnie Scot…

What an unexpected pleasure to see Mike Stern exchanging guitar...

Read More.....

22-year-old saxophonist Xhosa Cole wins …

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole has been announced as the winner of...

Read More.....

Braxton and Marclay Broker New Sonic Exp…

  The UK premiere of Anthony Braxton's 'Composition No 103' (1983)...

Read More.....

Delay-gratification – Bill Frisell’s spe…

Bill Frisell isn't much of a talker. The music is...

Read More.....


Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@EarlyMusicRecs shame, was banking on it as a retirement down payment
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@EarlyMusicRecs sure I have a copy of this somewhere ....
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA