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Surman, John: Brewster's Rooster

Sax player John Surman's first ever 'straight jazz' release for ECM Records is a good one, and though no one doubts his stellar talents, it does help to have a cast of musicians such as guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Drew Gress, and drum legend Jack DeJohnette along for the ride. Brewster's Rooster is the name of this one, a thrilling jazz-fest that mixes some of Surman's late 60's/early 70's fusion and prog experiences with a more modern, smoky jazz feel that always allows the personality of each player to shine through.

Surman's seductive, almost sultry sax melodies float around the slippery acoustic bass from Gress on the tranquil "Slanted Sky", while the rollicking "Hilltop Dancer" and "No Finesse" offer a more rapid, intricate pace, with liquid guitar lines from Abercrombie snaking around Surman's sax, all kept in check thanks to the stunning drum display from DeJohnette. "Kickback" is Abercrombie's time to shine, a ripping number that lets his fingers fly all around the fretboard, and "Haywain" is anchored by some crazy fills from DeJohnette but ultimately is a dazzling display of chops from Surman, Abercrombie, and Gress. A more laid-back approach can be heard on the near 11-minute bluesy epic "Counter Measures", and the charming title track is classy jazz all the way, led by Surman's soaring sax lines. Closing number "Going For A Burton" sums it all up quite nicely, a bopping romp that's obviously dedicated to legend Gary Burton.

Modern jazz doesn't get much better than this folks. Featuring four world class players, Brewster's Rooster is an enjoyable slice of jazz fusion that impresses on all levels. Bravo!

Track Listing
1. Slanted Sky 6:34
2. Hilltop Dancer 7:27
3. No Finesse 6:52
4. Kickback 7:25
5. Chelsea Bridge 5:49
6. Haywain 6:18
7. Counter Measures 10:44
8. Brewster's Rooster 6:37
9. Going For A Burton 6:48

Added: October 15th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 2286
Language: english

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