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Album Review

Steve Swell: Dances With Questions

Read "Dances With Questions" reviewed by John Sharpe

American trombonist Steve Swell plays to the strengths of his talented cast of improvisers on the sprawling multifaceted Dances With Questions, a three-CD box set which documents his three day residency at the 2019 Krakow Jazz Autumn. The center piece is the 70-minute title cut for a dozen musicians, but the album also includes two discs of small group encounters captured in the city's legendary Alchemia club during the previous evenings. Swell, a veteran of the New York ...

Album Review

Steve Swell's Fire Into The Music: For Jemeel: Fire From The Road

Read "For Jemeel: Fire From The Road" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Oltre tre ore di musica catturate in altrettante esibizioni live fra Texas (due, ottobre 2004) e Canada (la restante, settembre 2005) e oggi rese opportunamente disponibili sono ciò che ci offre questo triplo album composito ma per altri versi assolutamente monolitico. Lo firma un superquartetto, sempre quello, che attraversa i sette ampi brani (il primo occupa l'intero primo cd) con fare deciso, ottima capacità di gestire l'evolversi della musica prodotta, i suoi spazi intestini, felicemente bilanciati fra parti corali e ...

Album Review

Steve Swell’s Fire Into Music: For Jemeel: Fire From The Road

Read "For Jemeel: Fire From The Road" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If listeners only had the one recording, Swimming In A Galaxy Of Goodwill And Sorrow (Rogueart, 2007) from Steve Swell's Fire Into Music, and did not have the pleasure of hearing the quartet live in person, there certainly would be a large blank spot in their metaphorical dance card. The trombonist Swell, bassist William Parker, and drummer Hamid Drake must also mourn the loss of the fourth member of the quartet, alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc (1946-2021). Much like Ornette Coleman, ...

Radio & Podcasts

Steve Swell, Asher Gamedze, Dan Rosenboom & Fergus Quill

Read "Steve Swell, Asher Gamedze, Dan Rosenboom & Fergus Quill" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

An energetic episode this time around on One Man's Jazz! There's plenty of punch from South African drummer and composer Asher Gamedze, trombonist Steve Swell's Fire Into Music (featuring the late Jemeel Moondoc), L.A. trumpeter Dan Rosenboom with a killer band, New Zealand mates drummer Edward Ware and saxophonist Jeff Henderson reunion, the quirky Imaginary Big Band from England led by bassist Fergus Quill, and the French quartet Plume. Grounding it all is the excellent trio of pianist Eva Novoa, ...

Album Review

Gebhard Ullmann / Steve Swell / Hilliard Greene / Barry Altschul: We're Playing In Here?

Read "We're Playing In Here?" reviewed by John Sharpe

For musicians, one consolatory by-product of lockdown was the chance to reappraise the archives, which led to a subsequent bonanza of deserving material reaching the marketplace. Whether that was the genesis of the limited edition LP We're Playing In Here? is a moot point, but this 2007 studio recording by the Gebhard Ullmann / Steve Swell Quartet certainly more than justifies release. It is the fourth album by what was a cracking band, although it actually predates the outfit's second ...

Album Review

The Chicago Plan: For New Zealand

Read "For New Zealand" reviewed by John Sharpe

German reedman Gebhard Ullmann and American trombonist Steve Swell, front line comrades for over 15 years in a variety of outfits, reunite on For New Zealand for the second release from their joint led initiative The Chicago Plan. Rounding out the foursome and providing some allusion to the band's moniker are the Windy City pairing of drummer Michael Zerang and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm (although the latter decamped to Kingston, NY in 2017 following a 22-year stay). They share deeper connections ...

Album Review

Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If we alter President John F. Kennedy's 1962 moon spaceflight speech just a bit, it easily fits the big band adaptation of Muhal Richard Abrams' magnum opus Soundpath, “We choose to perform this composition not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept." Accepting the challenge was band leader Bobby Zankel and ...


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