Get this crazy baby off my head!


Steve Swallow

Steve Swallow - Always Pack Your Uniform on Top - 1999 - Watt Works Inc.

Acoustic piano and electric bass aren’t exactly natural-born partners. Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, on the other hand, hardly approach their respective instruments with anything resembling conventionality. Bley incorporates a gamut of influences in her open-minded, idiosyncratic playing, and one-time upright ace Swallow plucks with a pick, playing guitaristically on a five-string bass rigged with an extra high C string (rather than a low B). In addition to those factors, the two think alike, plugging into each other’s playing organically for a warm, chamberlike sound amply demonstrated on Are We There Yet? The pair’s third outing as a duo, recorded during a 1998 European tour, opens with the playful, tail-chasing "Major" before slipping into the slow-grooving gospel blues of "A Dog’s Life" and then the melancholy of "Satie For Two," named for Bley’s major influence. Kurt Weill’s "Lost in the Stars," tagged with a bit of "When You Wish Upon a Star," is pure elegance, and Thelonious Monk’s spirit comes through (yet again) on Bley’s "King Korn." Swallow’s gorgeous tone and sophisticated phrasing are front and center on the ever-shifting, trickling "Playing With Water," and the twisting "Musique Mécanique" is informed by Eastern European folk music. Swallow and three of his quintet partners from 1996’s Deconstructed (trumpeter Barry Ries replaces Ryan Kisor) are heard on Always Pack Your Uniform on Top, culled from a week’s worth of performances last April at London’s famous Ronnie Scott nightclub. The post-bop compositions are consistently inventive and so are the improvisations: Dig drummer Adam Nussbaum’s tricky rhythm display over the riff of "Bend Over Backward," Chris Potter’s earthy tenor sax expedition on the frenetic "Dog With a Bone" and Mick Goodrick’s thoughtful, fluid fretwork on altered bossa "Feet First" (and everything else). Swallow, who skips solos in favor of brilliant unaccompanied introductions on two pieces, includes charts of the music in the CD booklet. Nice touch. BY & © PHILIP BOOTH Published 9/13/2000 © 2014 Detroit Metro Times. http://www2.metrotimes.com/music/review.asp?rid=4890

This is Swallow's third standards-derived quintet album, following in the footsteps of 1994's Real Book and 1996's Deconstructed. Here the Deconstructed quintet is captured live at Ronnie Scott's in London. (Trumpeter Barry Ries replaces Ryan Kisor.) Although there's a brand new batch of tunes, Swallow applies the same approach, using familiar progressions as the basis for clever original music. Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter looms large, as does guitarist Mick Goodrick, Swallow's longtime compatriot, whose profound influence on John Abercrombie couldn't be clearer. Adam Nussbaum holds down the rhythm section along with the leader who restricts himself to a supportive role, never taking a single solo. (He plays short, unaccompanied intros on "Bend Over Backward" and "Reinventing the Wheel," however.) While the breakneck "Dog With a Bone" and the herky-jerky "Reinventing the Wheel" resemble the ethos of the two previous studio records, the remaining four tracks are more subdued yet somehow more offbeat and contemporary. "Misery Loves Company," a tune with a Latin 12/8 pulse, is especially rich and dark in color. © David R. Adler © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/always-pack-your-uniform-on-top-mw0000068220

A great gig recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, England in April 1999 which features a pianoless quintet led by one of the world’s greatest living electric bassists, Steve Swallow. All music was composed by Steve and players include guitarist Mick Goodrick, drummer Adam Nussbaum, trumpeter Barry Ries, and the incomparable saxophonist Chris Potter. This is modern jazz at it’s best. Nothing abstract here, just great compositions, and marvellous musicianship and interplay. Read an AAJ review @ http://www.allaboutjazz.com/always-pack-your-uniform-on-top-steve-swallow-ecm-records-review-by-glenn-astarita.php#.U6PuOfldVe8 Listen to Steve's "Deconstructed" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 137 Mb]


1 Bend Over Backward 11:26
2 Dog With A Bone 6:11
3 Misery Loves Company 7:47
4 Reinventing The Wheel 7:47
5 Feet First 7:25
6 La Nostalgie De La Boue 6:46

All music composed by Steve Swallow


Mick Goodrick – Guitar
Steve Swallow – Bass
Adam Nussbaum – Drums
Chris Potter – Tenor Saxophone
Barry Ries – Trumpet


Steve Swallow has long been many jazz critics' favorite electric bassist, for rather than playing his instrument in a rock-oriented manner, Swallow emphasizes the high notes and, to an extent, approaches the electric bass as if it were a guitar. He originally started on piano and trumpet before settling on the acoustic bass as a teenager. Swallow joined the Paul Bley trio in 1960 and with Bley was part of an avant-garde version of the Jimmy Giuffre 3 during 1960-1962. Swallow recorded with George Russell and was a member of Art Farmer's quartet (1962-1965), Stan Getz's band (1965-1967), and an important edition of Gary Burton's quartet (1967-1970). The latter group (starting with the addition of guitarist Larry Coryell) was actually one of the first fusion groups, and it was during that time that Swallow began playing electric bass; within a few years, he stopped playing acoustic altogether. Swallow spent a few years in the early '70s living in northern California, during which time he mostly played locally. After the late '70s, he was closely associated with Carla Bley's groups, although he occasionally worked on other projects (including a reunion of the Jimmy Giuffre 3). Swallow has also proved to be a talented composer with "Eiderdown," "Falling Grace," "General Mojo's Well Laid Plan," and "Hotel Hello" among his better-known pieces. The 21st century saw the release of several Swallow sets, including Damaged in Transit (2003), Histoire Du Clochard: The Bum's Tale (2004), and an intriguing set with poet Robert Creeley, So There (2006). Hotel Hello appeared in 2007, followed by Believe in Spring, a collection of standards with Hans Ulrik and Jonas Johansen issued on the Stunt label, and Carla's Christmas Carols in 2008. In 2010 he recorded IS with trumpeter Tore Johanson for the Inner Ear label. Swallow formed We3 along with Adam Nussbaum and David Leibman; they recorded Amazing in 2011. In 2012 he and drummer Joey Barron played in Steve Kuhn's trio for the recording of Wisteria on ECM. It was a busy year for the bassist: he also recorded another duet offering, The Agnostic Chant Book, with reed and woodwind master Jonas Schoen. He led his own quintet for Into the Woodwork, which was issued on Xtra WATT, in June of 2013, and shared triple-billing with Carla Bley and Andy Sheppard on Trios, which was released in September of that year. © Scott Yanow © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/steve-swallow-mn0000042344/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc

ratso said...

Ah! A little bit of modern jazz to distract from the cold and dank. Why, thank you Master Fingal! Don't mind if I do. My thanks indeed.

francisco santos said...


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Francisco. You're always welcome mi amigo. TVM & TTU soon...Paul

A.O.O.F.C said...

G'day,ratso. I hope I've jazzed up your day a little bit. How's your crown jewels? LOL! TVM & TTUL...Paul