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John Swana

John Swana is one of the most exciting trumpeters to arrive for a decade," declares Mark Gardner, co-author of Blackwell's Guide to Recorded Jazz. Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, Swana took up Trumpet at the age of 11. He was drawn to jazz at the age of 17 after hearing Dizzy Gillespie, and the interest developed into a passion while he was in college. There he began transcribing the solos of Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, and Tom Harrell. Swana has performed and toured with the Mingus Big Band. He has also played with well known jazz names such as Don Patterson, Shirley Scott, Mickey Roker, Stanley Turrentine, Harold Mabern, Cecil Payne, Johnny Coles, Ralph Peterson, Charles Fambrough, Bobby Watson, Trudy Pitts, Bootsie Barnes, Craig Handy, Chris Potter, Stephen Scott, Tim Warfield, Eric Alexander, Sam Newsome, Brad Mehldau,Vincent Herring, Uri Caine, Tim Armacost, Peter Leitch, Peter Bernstein, Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Bowen, Terrel Stafford, Seamus Blake, and Robin Eubanks

I Wish I Knew

Label: Lydian Jazz Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: The Great City; I Wish I Knew; It Could Happen to You; I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face; Poinciana; Alfie; Hello Young Lovers; The Shadow of Your Smile; Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye; In a Mellow Tone; You Go to My Head; The Party’s Over.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Susie Meissner: I Wish I Knew

Read "I Wish I Knew" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I wish I knew why the talented Philadelphia-based singer Susie Meissner chose to open her salute to the Great American Songbook with the only tune on the album that doesn't really qualify: Curtis Lewis' “The Great City." It's not a bad song but Cole Porter or Johnny Mandel it ain't. On the bright side, Meissner recovers ...

TRACK OF THE DAY

Poinciana

Album:
By
Label: Lydian Jazz Records
Released: 2020
Duration: 6:19

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, John Swana and the Philly All-Stars: Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Read "Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, John Swana and the Philly All-Stars: Chris’ Jazz Cafe" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, John Swana and the Philly All-Stars Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA February 22, 2020 This first set on the second night of a two night stand with a packed house featured three superb and well-known hard bop masters backed by a local rhythm section ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

Channels

Label: 1K Recordings
Released: 2019
Track listing: Lost; Drift; Caravan; Out to Sea; Ashes; Channel; Oasis; Suspended.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Joey DeFrancesco: From Musical Prodigy to Jazz Icon

Read "Joey DeFrancesco: From Musical Prodigy to Jazz Icon" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Joey DeFrancesco is a true master of the jazz organ, the one others look up to as the standard bearer, as was his inspirational hero, Jimmy Smith. Arguably, he could be dubbed the Mozart of the jazz organ, since like Mozart, he seemed to have been born with all the music already in him. By four, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alex Delcourt: To My Brothers

Read "To My Brothers" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

This album by bassist Alex Delcourt is a treasure of a recording, a contemporary mirror of the hard bop movement of the past. It's as if that music awakened from its sleep years later and is as fresh today as it was then. Except for seasoned valve trombonist and trumpeter John Swana, the personnel consists of ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...


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