Ermoll, Serge [Ermolaeff, Serge Sergeivitch]
- Roger Dean
[Ermolaeff, Serge Sergeivitch]
(b Shanghai, China, Aug 16, 1943; d Sydney, Australia, Oct 6, 2010). Australian pianist and composer. The birth name given here appears as published in his Sydney Morning Herald obituary. He studied piano before moving to Australia around 1951, and then also learned trumpet; he took Australian citizenship in the mid-1950s. By the age of 17 he was concentrating on piano. From 1963 to 1969 he led a trio at El Rocco in Sydney, except for periods during the years 1964–6, when he was in London. He returned there between 1970 and 1974 and worked at Ronnie Scott’s club and many other venues. In Australia again he formed Free Kata, probably the first Australian free-improvisation group, mainly with Eddie Bronson (saxophone) and Lou Burdett (drums). While continuing to play as an unaccompanied soloist and in small free-improvising groups he recorded in conventional settings with such visitors to Australia as Anita O’Day, Art Pepper, Sonny Stitt, Herb Ellis, Richie Cole, and Ray Brown. Ermoll was influenced by karate and associated philosophies, as is superficially visible in his often aggressive, even violent approach to the keyboard; this connection also manifested itself in deeper, but intangible ways....