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MUSICIAN Born:

Steve Swallow

Steve Swallow was born in New York City in 1940, and spent his childhood in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Before turning to the acoustic bass at age 14, he studied piano (with Howard Kasschau, who also taught Nelson Riddle) and trumpet. His otherwise miserable adolescence was brightened by his discovery of jazz. He took many of his first stabs at improvisation with Ian Underwood (who subsequently became a Mother Of Invention and an L.A. studio ace), with whom he attended a swank New England private school. During his years at Yale University he studied composition with Donald Martino, and played dixieland with many of the greats, including Pee Wee Russell, Buck Clayton and Vic Dickenson

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Ian Patterson's Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Ian Patterson's Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Ian Patterson

A year like no other produced a terrific amount of great music, much of inspired by--or in spite of—the surreal circumstances. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases of the year. A huge thank you to all the musicians, record labels, studios, agents, promotors and virtual technicians who helped keep us relatively ...

The Meeting with Steve Swallow

Label: AMM
Released: 2020
Track listing: Tristesse; Jeg Er Havren; Jeg vet en dejlig rosa; Ladies in Mercedes; Steve and Carla; Lazy Afternoon; Ever After; Boys Night Out; Lawns

Swallow Tales

Label: ECM Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: She Was Young; Falling Grace; Portsmouth Figurations; Awful Coffee; Eiderdown; Hullo Bolinas; Away; In F; Radio.

Life Goes On

Label: ECM Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Life Goes On: Life Goes On; On; And On. Beautiful Telephones: I, II, III; Copycat: After You; Follow The Leader; Copycat.

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Pietaro's "Test" Of 2020

Read "John Pietaro's "Test" Of 2020" reviewed by John Pietaro

It would be a fool's errand in a covid-damaged society to attempt a peaceably gathered year's end “Best of" list, in jazz or any other genre or medium. But artists of jazz and all avant gardes have been especially susceptible to the considerable financial ebbing and health concerns of this period. Discussing this concept with my ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Matthieu Bordenave: La Traversée

Read "La Traversée" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The French word La Traversée may equally refer to a crossing, a passage or a journey. Surely related yet with disparate meanings, the three terms have a sense of motion in common. How defined that motion is and whether it's backward, forward, or even sideways, remains unknown. The only thing for certain is its determination to ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Elina Duni & Rob Luft: Songs Of Love And Exile

Read "Elina Duni & Rob Luft: Songs Of Love And Exile" reviewed by Chris May

The British guitarist Rob Luft has already released one of the great albums of 2020 with Life Is The Dancer (Edition), which came out back in the spring. Now Luft notches up another 2020 highlight with the collaborative Lost Ships (ECM), jointly conceived and co-led with the Albanian-Swiss singer Elina Duni. By turns passionate and grave, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music

Read "Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music" reviewed by Chris May

A relatively new name on London's alternative jazz scene, the German-born violinist, vocalist and composer Johanna Burnheart has made a rapid ascent since leaving the city's Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2018. She has played on three of the scene's benchmark albums--spiritual-jazz band Maisha's There Is A Place (Brownswood, 2018), trombonist Rosie Turton's 5ive ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Brian Krock: Advocating for True Value in Humanity

Read "Brian Krock: Advocating for True Value in Humanity" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Musician, bandleader-arranger-composer, and YouTuber Brian Krock on the role of critical analysis in music, the “unintended consequences of the capitalist nature of music education," what it means to improvise as a composer, how reading James Joyce influenced his relationship to listening to and writing music and led him to “create artwork that invites people to put ...


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Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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