229

Steve Swallow/Ohad Talmor Sextet: L'Histoire du Clochard (The Bum's Tale)

By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Swallow/Ohad Talmor Sextet: L'Histoire du Clochard (The Bum's Tale) Steve Swallow's music for the new L'Histoire du Clochard is mostly soft watercolor, ranging from subtle pastels to more complex, light shades, but nothing much stronger. Writing for brass, reeds and strings, Swallow shows off his mastery of harmony here, but doesn't try to leave us with any infectious melodies. He's more interested in putting us in a certain mood than getting us to tap our feet or whistle a snatch of a tune later. The absence of drums helps to seal the music's somber fate. If this is a bum's tale, it is that of one who has learned a few things and is only mildly melancholy as he recounts his vagabond life.

L'Histoire du Clochard just avoids drowsiness thanks to an unmistakable note of wry playfulness throughout. The musicianship is nearly unassailable, though I am no great fan of electric bass. Swallow's five-string instrument gives him considerable range, but not much warmth, and at times he sounds more like a guitarist who has lost all but one string. The conscious use of instrumentation mirroring Stravinsky's "Soldier's Tale" gives this music a decidedly classical vibe.

Perhaps the real hero here is arranger Ohad Talmor, who is presumably to thank for the lovely voicings of horns and violin that give the record a large part of its value. On "Ladies in Mercedes," a trumpet/violin call-and-response vamp opening provides the liveliest moment on the disc, leading to a light-as-paper bossa nova run for a lively clarinet solo. L'Histoire du Clochard is pleasant late-summer listening.


Track Listing: Making Ends Meet; Sweeping Up; Chelsea Bells; Some Echoes; Ladies in Mercedes; Hullo Bolinas; I'm Your Pal.

Personnel: Steve Swallow: bass; Chad Talmor: tenor saxophone; Russ Johnson: trumpet; Meg Okura: violin; Greg Tardy: clarinet; Jacob Garchik: trombone.

Title: L'Histoire du Clochard (The Bum's Tale) | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Illustrations" CD/LP/Track Review Illustrations
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!