Exposé Online banner

Surge — For the Time Being
(LJ Records LJCD 5213, 1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

For the Time Being Cover art

Why is European mainland jazz ignored or worse yet, simply prejudiced as being lesser than US contemporaries? And does jazz have to be black to be good? These questions have been asked by reviewers since whitey decided to play like Charlie Parker. In Sweden, at least for the group Surge, the core of improvisation has been embraced with stark empathy stemming from a winter cultural environment. You'd be moody too if you didn't see sun for almost three months of the year, so why not instead play impressionistic jazz? The group is a Swedish ECM (former home to Pat Metheny, Oregon and Eberhard Weber among others) type trio consisting of drums, keyboards and trumpet. Horn player Staffan Svenson's main contribution is "Ode," the standout track utilizing film music of a Gypsy song sung by children as an intro into an aggressive late period Miles Davis. I can also detect influences of Isham and Hassell's world music explorations in Svenson's attack and interjections. The other two primary pieces on the disc are "Perpetual Motion" (the only live track) and "Oracular Influx" which together take up half the disc. "Perpetual Motion" is drummer Per Ekblad's song beginning from drum solo and transitioning into a pastel weary backdrop. "Oracular Influx" is part successful group improv (with Bo Wirkland's synth stabs chopping up the tempo) starting from a lonely overblown trumpet solo. So my answers to the initial questions are: "I don't know" and "no" respectively; but this large trio stirs up an endearing temperament for late evenings of introspection and debate.

 


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Surge

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Mahavishnu – I don’t think anyone would argue against the idea that the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s peak was long past by the time John McLaughlin put this version of the band together. McLaughlin probably...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues