Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Steve Swell's Magical Listening Hour

Originally posted on March 10, 2008

To my mind trombonist/composer Steve Swell has become one of the key figures in the new jazz today. He has recorded a number of fine albums for CIMP, Cadence and others in the past, and he offers several limited edition CD-Roms of his music on his own website. Here is one of them: About a year ago he and his cohorts Louie Belogenis (tenor sax), Michael Attias (alto saxophone), and Nate Wooley (trumpet) played a concert as part of New York’s Vision Fest: Magical Listening Hour, Live @ The South Street Seaport. One of the hardest things to pull off I believe is a free session of all horns and no rhythm. That’s exactly what this ensemble does and does superbly.

There are two long sets captured on this CD-ROM disk. Continuously inventive sound events prevail. Sometimes there are a series of atmospheric long tones, sometimes sounds mixed with melodic lines. Various members of the ensemble take a sound-note role from time to time and interact as a multi-personed musical organism of the highest level. This is a very fine example of what four talented jazz hornmen can do when inspired. It’s well work picking up if you are so inclined. You can grab it at Steve Swell’s website www.steveswell.com. [Note: This CD has now been released on Cadence Jazz Records. Find out more at www.cadencebuilding.com.]

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