Al Swainger is a musician who happens to be a bassist. He is also a composer, improviser and FX enthusiast. His eclectic tastes have led to making music in a wide variety of genres over the years with literally hundreds of musicians. Covering ground from pop to progressive rock , traditional to modern jazz and fully improvised soundsculpture. Al is always keen to explore new musical territory. Currently he is focusing his unique style on his own experimental composition project Pointless Beauty. An album (After & Before) is due for release later this year featuring Neil Yates, Mike Outram, George & Mark Whitlam.
Other current projects include recordings with omnifusion trio Snow Giants – UN (Mike Outram, 05Ric), the Art Trip – The Music of Art Pepper (Alan Barnes, Craig Milverton, Nick Millward) and art-rock band GRICE – Alexandrine (featuring Grice, 05Ric, Luca Calabrese, Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen, Hossam Ramzy, Steve Bingham, B.J.Cole). A recording with the Gary Bamford Trio (Gary Bamford, Robert Brian) is also in the pipeline for later this year.
Al regularly works live with the Annika Skoogh Quartet (Annika Skoogh, Matt Carter, Coach York), for which he arranges and composes, the Tomasso Starace Quartet (Tomasso Starace, Frank Harrison, Chris Nickolls) and Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen (Digby Fairweather, Julian Stringle, Chris Gower, Dominic Ashworth, Craig Milverton, Nick Millward).
Past tour highlights include working with Roger Beaujolais, Scott Hamilton, Peter King, Steve Lawson, Tina May, P.P. Arnold, Ken Peplowski and Steve Waterman
British Jazz Awards Bass Category 5th place 2012 - 2014 (5th place not announced 2015)
British Jazz Awards Best Small Group (with Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen) 2011 - 2016
Electric Bass: Westone Thunder Jet, Zon Sonuus (fretless), Modulus (6-string, fretted)
Double Bass: German circa 1870, Eva Pirazzi strings
Amplification: Aguilar TH500, TH350, SL112 x 2
FX : Electro Harmonix Big Muff, Freeze / Darkglass Vintage Microtubes / MXR Bass Compressor, Bass Octave Deluxe, 6-Band EQ / Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Mini Wah / Digitech Whammy, Bass Whammy / Eventide Pitchfactor / Sonuus Voluum / TC Electronic Ditto, Ditto 2, Hall of Fame Reverb / Line 6 DL4