Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

INTERVIEW

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2000. In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has performed side by side with many fabulous musicians, from Benny Golson to Tom Harrell, to Chris Potter, and a myriad of others whose names ...

REASSESSING

In The Moment

Read "In The Moment" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The trail of splendid hard bop influenced recordings extends well beyond the genre's heyday of the 1950s and '60s. A case in point is trumpeter John Swana's appropriately titled In The Moment. The 1996 release on the Criss Cross Jazz imprint merits the exalted status of its celebrated predecessors. Captured in a one-day studio session, despite the familiar stylistic lineage it sounds fresh, spontaneous and unsullied. A sextet of intrepid, strong-willed individuals fully commit themselves to a program of compelling ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Swana / Tim Motzer / Doug Hirlinger: Channels

Read "Channels" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's a jungle in here. The atmosphere is thick and close, even when things are still. Strange creatures keep flitting through the trees and rustling the bushes. The air never stays quiet for very long amidst the eerie calls of strange birds. The here in this case is a landscape that is imaginary, but that makes it no less vivid, exotic and just occasionally hair-raising. The opening “Lost" makes being lost seem as fascinating as it is unnerving; ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Swana: Bright Moments

Read "Bright Moments" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Simply put, this album is so listenable and stood out so noticeably among the many CDs I've been spinning for myself recently, that I thought All About Jazz readers ought to know about it. I first heard then trumpeter John Swana a decade or more ago when he jammed at pianist Tom Lawton's memorable long-term gig with the late great bassist Al Stauffer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. I was awestruck by Swana's clarity, sustained non-vibrato tone, and ...

LIVE REVIEW

The Larry McKenna and John Swana Organ Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café

Read "The Larry McKenna and John Swana Organ Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

The Larry McKenna and John Swana Organ Quartet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA

ALBUM REVIEW

John Swana & The Philadelphians: Philly Gumbo Vol. 2

Read "Philly Gumbo Vol. 2" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The sequel to a memorable 2001 release, Philly Gumbo Vol. 2 consists of pleasurable hard bop by John Swana and a band of mainstays from the fertile Philadelphia jazz scene. Despite the familiar stylistic trappings, the music stands up to repeat listening for several reasons. The original material (nine of ten tracks) transcends the tired, derivative tunes often written in homage to masters of the genre. Swana's compositions, especially “Sid's Dilemma, “Three Of A Kind, and “Quasimodo's Uncle, are catchy ...

INTERVIEW

Trumpeter John Swana

Read "Trumpeter John Swana" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has performed side by side with many fabulous musicians, from Benny Golson to Tom Harrell, to Chris Potter, and a myriad of others whose names connote excellence in jazz. A consummate musician whose playing always attracts your attention for its straightforward solidity, ...


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