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Sunday, February 11, 2007

John Surman & Jack DeJohnette - Invisible Nature (ECM, 2002) *****

John Surman and Jack DeJohnette no longer need any introduction. The English sax player has carved out his own sound and melodic signature over the years, easy to recognize yet hard to emulate. The drummer is also a unique specimen, a rhythmic giant and a perfectionist of the sound quality of his instrument. What these two virtuosi bring together on "Invisible Nature" is unique indeed : recorded at live performances in Tampere (Finland) and Berlin (Germany), this album is a joy from beginning to end, with no weak moments in it. The most amazing thing is that the whole album - with the exception of one piece - is pure improvisation. The music integrates many styles, electronics, the blues, Indian music, classical music, ... and jazz of course. The use of electronics adds to the variation of sounds on the album, yet the spontaneous compositions are by themselves strong enough to stand on their own and to bring a broad scale of variety. Highly recommended.