2

Pierre Sward Organ Jazz 'n' Soul Group: Slow But Fast

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Pierre Sward Organ Jazz 'n' Soul Group: Slow But Fast This album poses two problems. First: the electric organ. Even when played by a master like Jimmy Smith, monotony can easily set in. It's something to do with the way the instrument dominates so completely, leaving no space.

Problem No.2: funk, the dominant genre on Slow But Fast. The idea is to hit a groove, preferably—as US DJ Pete Fallico explains in his sleeve note, one of the "in-the-pocket" variety—and then do it to death. Again, monotony hovers.

Pierre Swärd's way out of this double impasse is to incorporate more interesting musical numbers into his book and make frequent changes of style and tempo. Sometimes, as in the case of John Coltrane's "Mr. Syms," he is strikingly successful.

From the 1962 Atlantic album, Coltrane Plays The Blues, this is a haunting minor blues with a bridge reminiscent of "Summertime," one of the tenor player's favorite pieces. After an uncertain intro with Joakim Ekberg's drums sounding rather like coconut shells imitating horses' hooves, Swärd and guitarist Jan Ottesen come up with a laid-back, lyrical treatment to make it the stand-out track.

But at the other end of the scale, Swärd crucifies Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind," ruining the melody of that "old, sweet song" with a lot of flashy, pseudo-dramatic flourishes and embellishments, something else the electric organ seems designed to encourage.

Swärd aimed at a relaxed feel for this album, recording it not in a studio, but in an ordinary rehearsal room in the Swedish university city of Uppsala. He explains, "We decided to record one or two tracks there to see how it worked. We got such a great feeling that we wound up doing the whole thing there."

The session kicks off with Kenny Barron's "South Street Stroll," a number the pianist wrote for Freddie Hubbard. Swärd's version never quite settles down and ends in an over blown climax. The deceptively simple "Chicago Swing," which follows, vies with the title track as the most successful of six Swärd originals.

Track Listing: South Street Stroll; Chicago Swing; Mr. Syms; Kool And The Gang; A Waltz In The Park; Georgia On My Mind; Frankfurt Funk; Walk With Me; Slow But Fast; Stuffin'.

Personnel: Pierre Swärd: organ; Jan Ottesen: guitar; Joakim Ekberg: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Prophone Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "The Organ Grinder" CD/LP/Track Review The Organ Grinder
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!