Always Pack Your Uniform On Top is the latest solo outing by the estimable bassist/composer Steve Swallow and perhaps represents his finest effort as a leader in recent years. On the surface it would be hard to envision anything less than admirable especially when taking into account the lineup consisting of guitarist Mick Goodrick, saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Adam Nussbaum and trumpeter Barry Ries. And as we might surmise, the overall results prove to be mighty impressive.
Recorded in 1999 at Ronnie Scott's Club in London, Swallow and co. tear it up in high octane yet quick-witted fashion on the opener, "Bend Over Backward" as the musicians pursue a loose and somewhat whimsical bop-ish vibe along with the impact and force of a runaway train. Essentially, the musicians perform a master clinic, as everyone appears to be at the top of their game, where every well-placed or improvised note seems to find a natural home within the context of these thoroughly memorable and elegantly performed compositions! - The band turns in a breezy, Caribbean style groove on "Feet First" as Goodrick paints a vivid picture via his sinuous single note lines and radiant themes. Basically, Always Pack Your Uniform On Top is a class act - as the band most assuredly brought down the house at this time-honored jazz venue.
Bend Over Backward; Dog With A Bone; Misery Loves Company; Reinventing The Wheel; Feet First; La Nostalgie De La Boue.
Barry Ries: trumpet; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Mick Goodrick: guitar; Steve Swallow: bass; Adam Nussbaum: drums.