A near-perfect album from the great John Surman
– recorded at the crossroads of the British jazz scene as it stepped into the 70s, and done with a fullness and focus that Surman
hardly matched again! As with some of the other Deram sessions of the time, the album's overflowing with great players from the cream of the British new wave of jazz – including Barre Phillips on bass, Tony Oxley on drums, Alan Skidmore on tenor, Harry Beckett on trumpet, and John
Taylor on piano – but despite strong work from the entire ensemble, Surman
's work on baritone, soprano, and bass clarinet are a tremendous highlight here – poised between some of Eric Dolphy's most inventive modes on the instruments, and some of the greater changes to come in the European free scene of the 70s! There's a cohesiveness here that's really wonderful – a sound that's never too free, nor too overindulgent – but also not as tightly arranged as on work by some of Surman
's contemporaries. Titles include "Caractacus", "Galata Bridge", "Premonition", and the long suite "Event".