In 2000 the composer, sax player and clarinetist John Surman released Coruscating, an album with bass player Chris Laurence and a string quartet, comprising members of the world-famous orchestra of St. Martin-in-the-fields. Combining jazz with strings isn't always a success, but Surman pulled it off and blended the sounds into a sheer feast for the ears. Last year this masterpiece was followed up with The Spaces in Between, that is performed with the same line-up and demonstrates the group has played together many times in the past years. The quartet participates more in the improvisation process, which makes the six musicians into a true band. John Surman's String Project is one of the many tours de force of this musician, who since the sixties has only made original music and stayed true to himself. The project is the showpiece of the ECM label, and includes the cooperation of, among others, drummer Jack DeJohnette and the great arranger Gil Evans. It's the absolute top of European jazz.