Reviews that mention Steve Swallow

May 13, 2017

Jimmy Giuffre 3

Bremen & Stuttgart 1961
Emanem 5208

By Ken Waxman

Arguably improvised music most underappreciated pioneer groups, clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s trio of the early 1960s with pianist Pail Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, toured infrequently made poorly selling LPs and finally called it quits when a door gig yielded the members 35 cents each. Yet more than a half-century later the foundations of sophisticated chamber jazz characterized by Keith Jarrett and the dissemination of now classic Carla Bley compositions can be traced back to the trio. MORE

May 13, 2017

Jimmy Giuffre 3

Bremen & Stuttgart 1961
Emanem 5208

By Ken Waxman

Arguably improvised music most underappreciated pioneer groups, clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s trio of the early 1960s with pianist Pail Bley and bassist Steve Swallow, toured infrequently made poorly selling LPs and finally called it quits when a door gig yielded the members 35 cents each. Yet more than a half-century later the foundations of sophisticated chamber jazz characterized by Keith Jarrett and the dissemination of now classic Carla Bley compositions can be traced back to the trio. MORE

February 11, 2016

Paul Bley

A Modern Jazz Piano Master
By Ken Waxman

Paul Bley who died at 83 in early January was probably never bothered that he was usually described as Canada’s second best-known jazz pianist; Oscar Peterson was the first. But Bley, who shared a Montreal birth with Peterson, and who similarly was honored with induction into the Order of Canada in 2008 – albeit 30 plus years after Peterson – was for all intents and purposes a much more radical pianist than O.P. Peterson, seven years Bley’s senior, was a flamboyant stylist who adapted Art Tatum’s all-encompassing swing era techniques to the structure of modern jazz during an almost incalculable number of performances from the late 1940s until his death in 2007. However Bley, represented on more than 100 discs during his career, cycled through a variety of keyboard strategies from the outgoing to the cerebral, eventually matching the atonality of off-centre techniques with straightforward, melodically measured motion. He was also one of the first serious improvisers to deal with the sonic possibilities that could be extracted from the then brand-new portable Moog synthesizer. Later, such better-known pianists as Keith Jarrett, The Bad Plus’ Ethan Iverson and Satoko Fujii developed their playing following the examples of Bley’s breakthroughs. MORE

January 1, 2015

Jamie Saft/ Steve Swallow/Bobby Previte

The New Standard
RareNoise Records RNR 032

This is a puzzling CD. But the mystery has little to do with the music at hand. Briefly, The New Standard is a straight up set of 10 originals, played with professional aplomb without a note or timbre out of place by three of improvised music’s most accomplished individuals. Representing three different generations, pianist/organist Jamie Saft, electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bobby Previte have played on hundreds of sessions with each expanding the definition of jazz a little bit further: Swallow in the 1960s and 1970s; Previte in the 1980s and 1990s; and Saft in this century. MORE

April 2, 2014

Douglas/Doxas/Swallow/Doxas

Riverside
Greenleaf Music GLM 1036

Tom Rainey

Obbligato

Intakt Records CD 227

Flex Bent Braam

Lucebert

BBBCD 16

The Whammies

Play the Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 2

Driff Records CD 1303

Braxtornette Project

Die Hochstapler

Umlaut Records ub004

Something In The Air: A New Take on Standards – Jazz and Otherwise

By Ken Waxman

Since jazz’s beginnings, the measure of a musician’s talent has not only been how well the person improvises, but also how he or she interprets standards. In the 21st century a standard song has evolved past its Tin Pan Alley origins, plus distinctive purely jazz compositions have entered the canon. But while more conservative players treat standards as immutable, the CDs here are noteworthy because their creators distinctively re-imagine standards. MORE

December 8, 2013

Paul Bley Trio

Closer
ESP-Disk ESP 1021

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
MORE

November 14, 2006

We Three

Three For All
Challenge Records CHR 70130

Baby boomers on either side of 60, these three jazzmen triply confirm that veterans continue to make personal, well-crafted music without falling into the twin traps of self-parodying nostalgia or unwarranted experimentation.

Veteran of their own bands and associations with heavyweights such as Miles Davis, John Scofield and Carla Bley, saxophonist/flautist Dave Liebman, electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Adam Nussbaum apprenticed in the 1960s and 1970s and survived most of the twists and trends of the decades since. Mostly avoiding fads like fusion, they’ve stayed true to their own vision(s). MORE

March 7, 2005

BLEY/SHEPPARAD/SWALLOW/DRUMMOND

The Lost Chords
Watt/32 B0002619-02

STEVE SWALLOW/OHAD TALMOR
L’Histoire du Clochard
Palmetto PM 2103

Forty years on from when he first made his mark serving as the rhythmic backbone of many different bands, Steve Swallow is now as noted as a composer he is as the foremost electric bass guitar player in modern jazz.

Each of these CDs showcases one of his talents. He wrote the seven compositions that make up the L’HISTOIRE DU CLOCHARD (the bum’s tale), which were then arranged and orchestrated by Israeli-American tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor for a chamber sextet. THE LOST CHORDS is a straight up combo session, recorded live on a European tour. The nine whimsical tunes are from veteran pianist Carla Bley, who often writes unique music for larger ensembles, but here confines herself to a compact all-star jazz quartet. Besides Bley and Swallow, the members are American drummer Billy Drummond, who usually plays with Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes, and saxophonist Andy Sheppard from the United Kingdom. Sheppard, an original soloist, is neither part of the BritImprov avant-garde nor a fellow traveller with the U.K.’s band of neo-conservatives. MORE

April 26, 2004

FREE FALL

Furnace
Wobbly Rail 013

JIMMY GIUFFRE/PAUL BLEY/STEVE SWALLOW
Fly Away Little Bird
Sunnyside/Owl SSC 3504

Named for the LP that presented the fullest realization of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s chamber-avant garde in 1962, the band Free Fall shows how the structured freedom of the trio can be adapted to the 21st Century.

Yet FURNACE succeeds on its own terms because the musicians involved -- American reedist Ken Vandermark and Norwegians, pianist Håvard Wiik and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten -- haven’t gone the neo-con route of recreation. Instead nine new compositions have been recorded, with the performance of the three as influenced by the subsequent 40 years plus of improv experimentation as the original Giuffre trio’s sound. MORE

February 8, 2002

BOBBY PREVITE & BUMP

Just Add Water
Palmetto PM 2081

For years the definition of the so-called “downtown New York” drummer, Bobby Previte has never stopped moving for long. He has mixed it up with everyone from saxophonist John Zorn to guitarist Elliott Sharp, helmed a variety of bands with ever more bizarre names, scored indie films, appeared as an actor in a Robert Altman movie, given percussion workshops, and written music for the Moscow Circus.

Organized as a combo to tour Europe playing the music of his remarkable debut LP in 1987, the dynamism of this Bump band encouraged him to write new tunes and this CD is the happy result. Built around a rhythm section of veteran electric bass player Steve Swallow, pianist and old friend Wayne Horvitz and Previte, the group has space age tailgate specialist trombonist Ray Anderson, Marty Ehrlich, unexpectedly on tenor saxophone, as its front line. Bump’s blowers are expanded by Defunkt trombonist Joseph Bowie on this disc. MORE