Invisible Nature

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Will Meyerhofer
A duet for horn and drums is the ultimate challenge in jazz, reducing the music to its essential ingredients of melody and rhythm. In the right hands, this stripped-down creative essence can be incendiary and thrilling. Saxophonist John Surman and drummer Jack DeJohnette rise to the challenge in Invisible Nature, and the results are fascinating. The pieces on the album were entirely improvised before live audiences, but the ultimate effect is one of meticulous composition. There are very few “drum solos” per se, and no extended showy blowing, either. For the most part, DeJohnette lays down a canvas -- washes of brushes, ticking ride cymbal, a gentle tap on a tom, a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Will Meyerhofer
A duet for horn and drums is the ultimate challenge in jazz, reducing the music to its essential ingredients of melody and rhythm. In the right hands, this stripped-down creative essence can be incendiary and thrilling. Saxophonist John Surman and drummer Jack DeJohnette rise to the challenge in Invisible Nature, and the results are fascinating. The pieces on the album were entirely improvised before live audiences, but the ultimate effect is one of meticulous composition. There are very few “drum solos” per se, and no extended showy blowing, either. For the most part, DeJohnette lays down a canvas -- washes of brushes, ticking ride cymbal, a gentle tap on a tom, a pattering rising-and-falling tone on a stretched drumhead -- while Surman’s lithe, sinewy horn, like a brush in the foreground, paints a scene in melody. Both musicians avail themselves of electronics on the recording: DeJohnette’s electronic drum pads sound like a set of tablas on “Ganges Groove,” and he even contributes some shimmering grand piano to “Song for World Forgiveness”. Surman plays soprano and baritone sax, as well as bass clarinet, and on parts of “Outback Spirits” it sounds like his tone on the soprano has been altered electronically to sound overdubbed, producing a thickened texture and an almost keyboard-like quality to his attack (on “Ganges Groove,” the synth makes his sax sound more like a breathy flute). Surman also uses the synth in the opening cut, “Mysterium,” to lay down a cool wash of tone in the background. The mood of the album runs the gamut from the spacey silver coolness of Mysterium” to the southern Asian exotica of “Ganges Groove,” the slamming funk of “Underground Movement,” and the calypso sway of “Rising Tide.” Surman and DeJohnette haven’t released a project together since 1981 -- this disc seems to contain many years' worth of creative ideas and musical visions.
All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
John Surman on baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, and synthesizers and Jack DeJohnette playing drums, electronic percussion, and piano make for a very intriguing duo on these seven originals taken from a pair of live concerts. Other than "Song for World Forgiveness" a ballad mostly by DeJohnette, the music is primarily freely improvised yet manages to be melodic, diverse, and logical. The performances are atmospheric, with both players utilizing electronics in spots while retaining their own musical personalities. Surman has long been a very flexible and mostly laid-back player, while DeJohnette also has the ability to fit in almost anywhere. Rather than individual melodies or solos, this CD is most notable for its overall feel and the blend between these two unique musicians.
Jazz Times
DeJohnette's selfless teamwork benefits the music considerably, resulting in an engaging album that bears up to repeated plays.

DeJohnette's selfless teamwork benefits the music considerably, resulting in an engaging album that bears up to repeated plays.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2002
  • Label: Ecm Import
  • UPC: 044001637629
  • Catalog Number: 016376

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mysterium (15:57)
  2. 2 Rising Tide (9:32)
  3. 3 Outback Spirits (12:30)
  4. 4 Underground Movement (9:45)
  5. 5 Ganges Groove (6:36)
  6. 6 Fair Trade (11:21)
  7. 7 Song For World Forgiveness (9:29)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Surman Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Jack DeJohnette Piano, Drums, electronic percussion
Technical Credits
John Surman Producer, Liner Notes
Steve Lake Producer
Jan Jedlicka Cover Photo
Steve Lowe Engineer
Veli-Pekka Heinonen Radio Producer
Ekkehard Stoffregen Engineer
Ralf Siren Engineer
Ulf Drechsel Radio Producer
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