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

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rick Wakeman - Past, Present and Future – At the outset, it would appear that reviewing three CDs of solo piano music from keyboardist Rick Wakeman would be a daunting task. While wrestling with the perception that the pianist can easily sit...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues