John Surman's second album remains his most impressive, anticipating the sound and scope of the European free jazz movement that would blossom in the decade to come -- boasting an extraordinary roster highlighted by trumpeter Harry Beckett, tenorist Alan Skidmore and bassist Barre Phillips, How Many Clouds Can You See? captures a singular moment in the evolution of British jazz, forging a new and distinct sound with few musical antecedents. Surman is a force of nature here, wielding his baritone, soprano and bass clarinet as if they were weapons -- no less impressive is his control, however, and no matter how far How Many Clouds Can You See? may travel, the music never lapses into self-indulgence or swallows its own tail.
How Many Clouds Can You See? Review
by Jason Ankeny