Takin’ Care of Business: Steve Swell

Although known as a creative trombonist and band leader who has worked with, among many others bassist William Parker and pianist Cecil Taylor, Steve Swell tells Point of Departure’s Troy Collins about the compromises and sacrifices one has to make to survive as creative musician in the New York City area. Although he now teaches regularly – something he admits he didn’t like at first – and has enough connections to gig regularly in North America with his bands featuring saxophonists Jemeel Moondoc or pianist Cooper-Moore plus in Europe in projects with saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Gebhard Ullmann or Jan Klare, he still has to handle all day-to-day business himself. Now that he’s freed from earlier day jobs such as driving a taxi or tempory proofreader at financial and law firms, he still must divide his day into one-hour intervals in keep track of his tasks. Without his own PR person, personal manager or a booking agent, he has still developed contacts over the years and like his music he manages to improvise his schedule as he goes along.