413

Bohuslan Big Band with Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Bohuslan Big Band with Steve Swallow: Swallow Songs 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.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Vara Konserthus | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Reconnect" CD/LP/Track Review Reconnect
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Isn't Life Grand" CD/LP/Track Review Isn't Life Grand
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "The Coyote" CD/LP/Track Review The Coyote
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Matador 4" CD/LP/Track Review Matador 4
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 31, 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!

Buy it!