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The Swallow-Talmor-Nussbaum Trio at the Douglas Beach House

Read "The Swallow-Talmor-Nussbaum Trio at the Douglas Beach House" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Swallow-Talmor-Nussbaum TrioDouglas Beach House Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society Half Moon Bay, California August 10, 2014 A rare U.S. performance by the highly sophisticated and seasoned jazz trio of Steve Swallow, electric bass; Ohad Talmor, tenor saxophone; and Adam Nussbaum on drums, set the stage for a two-set performance. Before his passing on July 12, 2014, Pete Douglas, the legendary club owner and founder of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, talked about this ...

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The Swallow Quintet: Into the Woodwork

Read "Into the Woodwork" reviewed by John Kelman

In the press sheet for Steve Swallow's Into the Woodwork, the award-winning electric bassist is quoted, saying: “Good humor before and after the red light goes on is very important. Music-making should be fun, after all." Those fortunate enough to see Swallow with Steve Kuhn and Joey Baron this past summer--including a memorable stop at the 2013 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival--experienced this ethos first-hand, as smiles and outright laughter defined a performance that was, indeed, great fun, but just as ...

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Jazz and Poetry: Impacted Gems

Read "Jazz and Poetry: Impacted Gems" reviewed by Gordon Marshall

The poetry of the Beats, the New York school and the Black Mountain school, as well as the jazz poets, all share a particularly heavy rhythmic feel and an earthy, gritty imagery that creates a kind of syncopation within itself. The scenes dance and bump up against each other, cutting and rubbing up against the beat. Three of these poets, Kenneth Patchen (1911-1992), Paul Haines (1933-2003), and Robert Creeley (1926-2005), receive jazz treatments on a recent release, a re-release, and ...

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Steve Swallow / Ohad Talmor / Adam Nussbaum: Playing in Traffic

Read "Playing in Traffic" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Recorded at the 2008 Xopana Festival in Madeira, Portugal, Playing in Traffic begins with its title tune and a rhythmic walking line from electric bassist Steve Swallow's nimble fingers. Drummer Adam Nussbaum follows with rapid stick and brushwork and tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor folds into the rhythm with precise staccato phrases. This bouncy cut introduces a body of music that becomes nostalgically tuneful, simultaneously demonstrating focus and integrity. Talmor is a master at making melody his subject ...

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Bohuslan Big Band with Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs

Read "Swallow Songs" reviewed by Edward Blanco

In 2007, veteran bassist Steve Swallow accepted an invitation to record his music from Goran Levin, Manager of the Bohuslan Big Band, one of the finest jazz orchestras in Sweden. Swallow Songs, with Steve Swallow and The Bohuslan Big Band, is the result of that auspicious invitation, spurred from a prior professional encounter with mutual friend, trumpeter Lew Soloff. Swallow, who is not only recognized as premier bassist but also as a composer and arranger, leads the sixteen-piece BBB through ...

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Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs & Dedicated to Steve

Read "Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs & Dedicated to Steve" reviewed by Fred Bouchard

Mellow, majestic, mischievous--smooth mnemonics come to mind when listening (or even thinking) about bassist Steve Swallow's music. The estimable (nay, venerable) progenitor of jazz electric bass (or is it Monk Montgomery?) has more basslines up his sleeve than Svengali had pigeons, and his sinuous sleight-of-hand with chord progressions dazzles with its deceptive "ease" of execution and a major-league modicum of merry expressiveness. These two European sessions find Swallow in divergent modes of inspiration: as guest soloist and arranger ...

INTERVIEWS

Steve Swallow: Embracing Music and Greater Awareness

Read "Steve Swallow: Embracing Music and Greater Awareness" reviewed by Matthew Miller

For 50 years, Steve Swallow has represented the pinnacle of jazz bass playing. First on acoustic, then exclusively on electric bass, the versatile Swallow approaches every musical situation with grace and understated virtuosity. His discography reads like a Who's Who of the important improvisers of the 20th and early 21st Century. Swallow continues to tour extensively around the world and record with Carla Bley, Gary Burton, John Scofield and many others. AAJ contributor Matthew Miller spoke with Swallow at his ...

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Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There

Read "So There" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Steve Swallow goes for a varied approach on So There, combining string quartets, piano and bass, all of this inspired by the poetry of Robert Creeley, one of the most important American poets. This is his second release inspired by Creeley's poetry; in 1980 Swallow and Kuhn (and vocalist Sheila Jordan) released Home on ECM. So There is mostly a quiet and thoughtful affair, and the performances feature close interplay between Swallow and pianist Joachim Kuhn, with ...

INTERVIEWS

Steve Swallow: The Poetry Of Music

Read "Steve Swallow: The Poetry Of Music" reviewed by Jason Crane

Bassist Steve Swallow and poet Robert Creeley were friends for 30 years. Swallow first read Creeley's work in the 1950s, and instantly fell in love with what Creeley had to say and the way he said it. Twenty years later, a chance meeting with Creeley led to a personal and professional relationship. Creeley's work inspired two of Swallow's albums--Home (ECM, 1980) and his most recent recording, So There (XtraWATT/ECM, 2006).AAJ contributor Jason Crane talked with Swallow about So ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There

Read "Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Steve Swallow with Robert CreeleySo ThereXtraWatt/ECM2006 Bassist Steve Swallow has been meditating on the poetry of the late Robert Creeley (1926-2005) for a long time. In 1980, Swallow and pianist Steve Kuhn released an album of song settings of Creeley's poems with vocalist Sheila Jordan (Home, ECM). After a quarter century, Swallow feels prepared to take up the collaboration again.For So There, Creeley recorded a selection of ...

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Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There

Read "So There" reviewed by Budd Kopman

So There is a mixture of Robert Creeley reading short poems and fragments of longer ones, surrounded and accompanied by Steve Kuhn's light, dazzling, free piano and Steve Swallow's feathery bass (and guitar-like solos in the upper register)--plus occasionally the Cikada String Quartet, both alone and with Swallow and Kuhn. Creeley's poems have an understated pulse, but his readings emphasize it even more, especially as he many times breaks down words into separate syllables. Swallow has long ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There

Read "So There" reviewed by John Kelman

Things don't always work out according to plan. Robert Creeley, who passed away last year at the age of 78, has been a source of inspiration for bassist Steve Swallow for nearly half a century. So much so that one of Swallow's most memorable albums, Home (ECM, 1980), adapted the Guggenheim Fellowship recipient's poetry, sung by Sheila Jordan, to a small-ensemble jazz setting.

So There, a by necessity if not by design posthumous collaboration between Creeley and Swallow, is an ...


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