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John Surman: Way Back When

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“What you are hearing accurately reflects the sound of the ’60s.” That’s saxophonist John Surman on the long-lost jam session tapes just released as Way Back When. Seems he’s talking about the recording quality-neither he nor Cuneiform opted to remaster or re-edit a dank, murky minute of it-but he could be talking about the music itself.

Miles Davis’ moody electronic jazz had a big influence on what Surman and his sidemen were up to, but mid-’60s hard bop figures just as strongly on this 1969 session. Drummer John Marshall brings a little snap to an otherwise soggy rhythm section (which also includes bassist Brian Odgers and John Taylor on electric piano). Saxophonist Mike Osbourne makes a cursory appearance on two tunes.

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