Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
246

Steve Swell/Perry Robinson: Invisible Cities

Clifford Allen By

Sign in to view read count Views
Steve Swell/Perry Robinson: Invisible Cities With Invisible Cities, trombonist Steve Swell and clarinetist Perry Robinson have created a unique snapshot of duo improvisation that, as much as it sounds like a Saturday afternoon loft rehearsal when the rhythm section was too busy, is a compelling document of the affinity between improvisers.

Robinson, of course, is the veteran of the two, having recorded his first LP, Funk Dumpling, with Henry Grimes for Savoy over forty years ago, as well as working with Gunter Hampel, Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd and numerous others. Swell’s, in a span half as long as Robinson’s, has solidified a place as the contemporary creative trombonist of choice, working regularly in the brass chair with Lou Grassi, William Parker and Dominic Duval. Swell and Robinson complement one another perfectly, like Roswell Rudd and Steve Lacy—Swell the punchy gutbucket with astounding technical facility, Robinson occupying a uniquely subtle sound world of bent notes (‘is that a duck call?!?’) and austere cadences. For rather than extending the Giuffre school of clarinet, Robinson occupies the midway between two Rudd foils: Giuseppi Logan and John Tchicai, embodying both a penchant for viciously dissociative runs and a witty, cool swing. One doesn’t often have the opportunity to hear such unadulterated Perry Robinson, so this is a case of a real treat.

The lengthy “Rumor Exists under Abolished Victims” presents a series of unaccompanied passages over its eight minutes, punctuated by brief snippets of melodic dialogue. The dialogues themselves are not entirely made up of free jazz-cum-Dixieland collective improvisation, but rather run the gamut from languid tonal explorations (Robinson’s clarinet mimicking a toy recorder, a harmonica and a trombone on “Shallow Facades...”) to singsong romps (“Children’s Song”). In these dialogues, Swell occupies a unique place in that, like Rudd and Bob Brookmeyer before him, he is able to provide both melodic and rhythmic support to an ensemble otherwise devoid of a rhythm section—he is able to provide the antics-filled conversation with a sense of purpose that it might otherwise not have.

Visit Drimala on the web.

This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .


Track Listing: 1. Careful Little Hempen Clouds (5:41) 2. Resemblance Spilling Thick (4:24) 3. Lunatics Spend Redundant Mind (3:02) 4. Immortals Reveal Deeper Streets (2:25) 5. Visible Pink Plateau (2:44) 6. Rumor Exists Under Abolished Victims (8:01) 7. Children's Song (3:15) 8. The Places Have Mingled Relationships (4:09) 9. Shallow Facades Find Opaque Polyhedrons on (4:10) 10. Skyscrapers Swaying Toward Oases of Fresh... (2:34) 11. Suspicious Umbrellas Remembering Clearly (3:09) 12. The Copper Clock Unfurls Its Boiling... (3:31) 13. Patterns Will Be Revealed Outside Iron... (4:23)

Personnel: Perry Robinson: Clarinet; Steve Swell: Trombone.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Drimala Records | Style: Modern Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Kanreki: Reflection & Renewal
Kanreki: Reflection &...
Not Two Records
2016
buy
Estuaries
Estuaries
Den Records
2013
buy
5000 Poems
5000 Poems
Not Two Records
2010
buy
Steve Swell's Slammin' The Infinite
Steve Swell's...
Not Two Records
2010
buy
Planet Dream
Planet Dream
hat ART
2009
buy
News from the Mystic Auricle
News from the Mystic...
Not Two Records
2009
buy
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Herb Robertson Herb Robertson
trumpet
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Roswell Rudd Roswell Rudd
trombone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.