All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

413

Bohuslan Big Band with Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
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 nine hard-driving orchestrations, of which three charts—"Learn To Fly," Do Go On" and "Seventeen Chords"—were penned specifically for this recording. The bassist also provides all of the arrangements except for the blue-chip burner "Eiderdown," where bass trombonist Niclas Rydh does an incredible job.



With respect to "Eiderdown," renowned Swedish pianist and composer Lars Jansson describes the tune in the liner notes as "a standard with a strong, beautiful melody and chord changes which lend themselves to improvisation." It may be the stand out number of the album, featuring saxophonist Alberto Pinton, Rydh and Swallow on measured solos. The lively and brassy "Ballroom" comes out swinging as another favorite, and features lead tenor Johan Borgstrom and fellow tenor Ove Ingemarsson. "Do Go On" is one of the gentler scores, starting out quite softly but then bouncing to a brisk groove for a very pleasant solo from Ingemarsson.

Another piece that makes an impression is the melodic "Belles," with pianist Tommy Kotter's delicate performance and a fine turn from trombonist Karin Hammar. The tune really showcases the band's woodwind and brass sections. Swallow is at his best on the light and mellow opener, "Away," where he leads the music on electric bass, laying down some slow-tempo lines on this rather melancholy tune. He also shines on "Thirty-Five," once again taking the limelight with a sparkling performance on yet another mellow chart.

The sounds of automobile traffic open the finale, "Playing in Traffic" (commissioned by the Harvard Jazz Band)—an aggressive big band number propelled by sturdy play from trumpeter Samuel Olson and tenorist Joakim Rolandsson. As if conveying the death-defying challenges of playing in traffic, the music races with a boisterous and powerful performance from the band, ending in a car-crashing crescendo of sounds. Big band music with a big bang flavor, Steve Swallow and The Bohuslan Big Band more than deliver their share of bursting brass orchestrations on Swallow Songs, a well-proportioned gulping session of high-energy big band music.


Track Listing: Away; Learn To Fall; Ballroom; Do Go On; Eiderdown; Seventeen Chords; Belles; Thirty-Five; Playing In Traffic.

Personnel: Steve Swallow: conductor, electric bass; Lennart Grahn: trumpet, flugelhorn; Staffan Svensson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Samuel Olsson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jan Eliasson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Johan Borgstrom: saxophones, flute; Joakim Rolandsson: saxophones, flute; Ove Ingemarsson: saxophones, flute; Mikael Karlsson: saxophones, flute; Alberto Pinton: saxophones, flute; Bjorn Samuelsson: trombone; Christer Olofsson: trombone; Karin Hammar: trombone; Niclas Rydh: trombone; Tommy Kotter: piano; Yasuhito Mori: acoustic bass; Andres Kjellberg: drums.

Title: Swallow Songs | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Vara Konserthus

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor" CD/LP/Track Review Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor
by Chris May
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Straight Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert" CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Non é Prohibito" CD/LP/Track Review Non é Prohibito
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017