Surrounded by Sea

Surrounded by Sea cover
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Surrounded by Sea
Andy Sheppard Quartet

[ ECM Records / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 1 May 2015

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Extending the range of his widely-praised Trio Libero project with Michel Benita and Seb Rochford, Andy Sheppard adds Eivind Aarset (who made significant contributions to 2008's Movements In Colour) to the band. With Aarset's ambient drones and electronic textures as a backdrop, Sheppard and co seem to have even more space to explore. The music embraced includes new compositions, open improvisations, an Elvis Costello tune, and the Gaelic traditional ballad "Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir" which appears in three variations, a thematic thread through the album.

"Laidback and lyrical saxophonist Andy Sheppard's newest ECM project adds Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset to the Trio Libero lineup he shares with French bassist Michel Benita and Polar Bear drummer Seb Rochford, and uses the new member's ethereal electronics to give his music even more breathing space. There are moments, such as in the translucently beautiful Gaelic ballad Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir, when the group evokes the serene murmur of Portico Quartet more than it does a sharp-end jazz band. There is a tip-toeing delicacy to much of the album, with Sheppard's phrasing often pared to hoots and whispers, drifting on Aarset's drones, cushioned by Benita's countermelodies, and propelled by quiet marches and off-kilter patterns from Rochford. The surgingly jazzy finale, For Ornette, is a more animated collective conversation - a little more of that might have brightened the set. Still, Surrounded by Sea is an intriguing shift for Sheppard as both a player and a bandleader." (The Guardian)


1. Tipping Point
2. I Want To Vanish
3. Aoidh Na Dean Cadal Idir Part 1
4. Origin Of Species
5. They Aren't Perfect And Neither Am I
6. Medication
7. Aoidh Na Dean Cadal Idir Part 2
8. The Impossibility Of Silence
9. I See Your Eyes Before Me
10. A Letter
11. Aoidh Na Dean Cadal Idir Part 3
12. Looking For Ornette