Steve Swell

(Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi & Rocco Stilo | Terms of Use )
Krentz Ratings:
Observations (1996), 5/10
Out and About (1996), 5.5/10
Moons of Jupiter (1997), 5.5/10
Atmospheels (1998), 5.5/10
Flurries Warm and Clear (1999), 5/10
Particle Data Group (2000), 5.5/10
At Sexial (2001), 5.5/10
Unified Theory of Sound/This Now (2001), 6/10
Poets of the Now (2002), 5/10
Suite for Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers (2003), 5.5/10
Still in Movement (2003), 5/10
Slammin' the Infinite (2003), 5/10
We Are Not Obstinate Islands (2004), 5.5/10
Desert Songs and Other Landscapes (2004), 5.5/10
Not Just (2005), 5/10
Remember Now (2005), 5/10
Live @ the Vision Festival (2006), 5/10
Double Diploid (2006), 5/10
Swimming in a Galaxy of Goodwill and Sorrow (2006), 5.5/10
Live at the Bowery Poetry Club (2006), 5.5/10
News from the Mystic Auricle (2007), 5.5/10
5000 Poems (2007), 5/10
Magical Listening Hour (2007), 6/10
Planet Dream (2008), 5/10
News? No News! (2008), 5/10
Live in Montreal (2008), 5/10
The Business of Here (2008), 5/10
Brass Tactics (2008), 5.5/10
Breathing Steam (2010), 5.5/10
Feynman's Diagrams (2011), 5/10
Estuaries (2011), 5/10
Return from the Center of the Earth (2012), 5/10
Turning Point (2013), 5/10
Kende Dreams (2014), 6.5/10
Kanreki (2015), 7/10
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser (2015), 5/10
Factorizations (2015), 5.5/10
No Time Left (2015), 5.5/10
Soul Travelers (2016), 6/10
Chicago Plan (2016), 6.5/10
Music for Six Musicians - Hommage a Olivier Messiaen (2017), 5.5/10
Throes Are the Only Trouble (2017), 5/10
Music for a Free World (2017), 5/10
From Here to Hear (2018), 5/10
Brain in a Dish (2018), 5/10
Astonishments (2018), 5.5/10
Chicago Plan: For New Zealand (2019), 6.5/10

New York's white trombonist Steve Swell was a pupil of Roswell Rudd. He recorded with Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Butch Morris, John Zorn, Dave Burrell, Elliott Sharp, Rob Mazurek, Ken Vandermark. William Parker, Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Herb Robertson, etc.

After having recorded the duets with Chris Kelsey Observations (february 1996), Swell formed a quartet with Roswell Rudd, Ken Filiano, Lou Grassi that debuted recording Out And About (june 1996) and followed up with a different line-up on Moons of Jupiter (may 1997). The Atmospheels (august 1998), the Flurries Warm and Clear (july 1999) and the Still In Movement (march 2003) were trio recordings.

He then formed the Particle Data Group (september 2000), recorded At Seixal (march 2001) with The Implicate Order project, collaborated with pianist Ursel Schlicht on Poets of the Now (july 2002), etc.

Unified Theory Of Sound/This Now (november 2001) featured a sextet comprising of Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Matt Lavelle (trumpet), Cooper Moore (piano), Wilber Morris (bass) and Kevin Norton (drums).

Steve Swell (trombone) and Perry Robinson (clarinet) recorded the vignettes of Invisible Cities (september 2002), inspired by Italo Calvino's Le Cittą Invisibili.

Suite for Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers (july 2003) was recorded with Will Connel (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Francois Grillot (bass), Kevin Norton (percussion), Roy Campbell (trumpet), and Charles Burnham (violin).

Not Just (january 2005) was credited to his Quintet (with Billy Bang on violin) plus trombonist David Taylor.

Double Dipoid (may 2006) was recorded with Dave Taylor Quartet (along with Warren Smith and Chad Taylor).

The triple/disc set Fire From The Road collects two concerts (october 2004 and september 2005) by Fire Into Music (Swell, double bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake) with alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, including mammoth improvisations like the 55-minute At the El Dorado and the 32-minute At Ballroom Marfa.

Fire Into Music debuted officially with Swimming in a Galaxy of Goodwill and Sorrow (june 2006).

The three lengthy pieces of News from the Mystic Auricle (february 2007) were credited to the Rivers of Sound Ensemble, actually a quintet with bassist Hilliard Greene drummer Klaus Kugel reed player Sabir Mateen and trumpeter Roy Campbell.

The two long pieces of a reed quartet in Magical Listening Hour (april 2007) were composed along with Nate Wooley, and performed along with Michael Attias and Louie Belogenis.

Planet Dream (february 2008) was a collaboration with soprano saxophonist Rob Brown and celloist Daniel Levin.

Feynman's Diagrams (recorded in 2011) was a collaboration with the Kirk Knuffke Duo.

Slammin' the Infinite (with Sabir Mateen, Matt Heyner and Klaus Kugel) recorded Slammin' the Infinite (december 2003) Remember Now (october 2005), Live @ the Vision Festival (june 2006), and 5000 Poems (january 2007).

The live We Are Not Obstinate Islands (october 2004) documents the Diplomats with Rob Brown (alto sax) and Harris Eisenstadt (percussion).

Collaborations with Barry Altschul yielded Desert Songs And Other Landscapes (june 2004), News? No News! (june 2008), and Live in Montreal (april 2008).

Nation of We recorded Live at the Bowery Poetry Club (january 2006) and The Business of Here (august 2008).

Brass Tactics (january 2008), released only ten years later, documents a collaboration among Michael Jefry Stevens (piano), Dave Taylor and Steve Swell (both on trombone) and Dave Ballou and Ed Sarath (both on trumpet).

Inner Ear (with Mikolaj Trzaska, Per Ake Holmlander and Tim Daisy) recorded Breathing Steam (december 2010) and Return from the Center of the Earth (two concerts, march 2011 and august 2012).

Estuaries (april 2011) featured the Argentinian composer and improviser Andrew Raffo Dewar on soprano sax and Garrison Fewell on guitar.

Turning Point (january 2013) contains live duets with pianist Dave Burrell.

The double-disc Kanreki (Not Two, 2015), that contains the 31-minute live Dragonfly Breath (may 2012), Essakane (may 2011), Schemata and Heuristics for Four Clarinets No. 1 (march 2014), News From The Upper West Side (january 2014), Splitting Up is Hard To Do (september 2012), Live at the Hideout (august 2012) and the 22-minute Composite No. 8 (december 2012), featured Paul Flaherty (tenor sax), C. Spencer Yeh (violin and voice), Weasel Walter and Michael Vatcher (drums), Ken Vandermark (tenor sax), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Zara Acosta-Chen, Miguel Malla, Ned Rothernberg and Guillermo Gregorio (all on clarinet), Joe Williams and James Ilgenfritz (bass), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics), Tom Buckner (voice), Darius Jones (alto sax) Omar Tamez (guitar), and Jonathan Golove (cello).

Steve Swell collected solo trombone improvisations on The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Improviser (2015)

Swell's odd tribute to Bela Bartok Kende Dreams (december 2014) featured Rob Brown (alto sax), Connie Crothers (piano), William Parker (bass) and Chad Taylor (drums) and included Bartok Screams and Lent-Oh!.

Factorizations (august 2015) documents a collaboration with Leap Of Faith, consisting of reedists Dave Pek and Steve Norton, cellist Glynis Lomon and percussionist Yuri Zbitnov.

Swell also played on No Time Left (june 2015) by the Brooklyn Express (Joe Fonda on double bass, flute, Tiziano Tononi on drums, Daniele Cavallanti on tenor sax, ney flute, and Herb Robertson on trumpet).

The four lenghty pieces of Soul Travelers (june 2015) were performed with Jemeel Moondoc on alto sax, Dave Burrell on piano, William Parker on contrabass and Gerald Cleaver on drums.

Chicago Plan (september 2015), containing Swell's 19-minute Composite #10, featured Gebhard Ullmann (tenor sax and bass clarinet), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics) and Michael Zerang (drums).

The live Music for Six Musicians - Hommage a Olivier Messiaen (june 2017) documents Swell on trombone and aerophone, along with Rob Brown (alto sax), Jason Kao Hwang (violin, viola, electronics), Robert Boston (piano, organ), Tomas Ulrich (cello) and Jim Pugliese (drums, percussion).

Throes Are The Only Trouble (june 2017) features Michael Foster (tenor & soprano saxes), Steve Swell (trombone), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums).

Throes Are The Only Trouble (june 2017) featured Weasel Walter on drums, Michael Foster on tenor & soprano saxes, and Brandon Lopez on bass.

Music For A Free World (september 2017) featured Dave Sewelson on baritone & sopranino saxes, Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on contrabass and Marvin Bugaloo Smith on drums.

Steve Swell played in Rob Brown's quartet on From Here To Hear (june 2018).

Brain In A Dish (august 2018) was recorded by Steve Swell (trombone), Robert Boston (piano, organ) and Michael Vatcher (drums)

The Steve Swell Quintet with Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Dave Burrell (piano), William Parker (double bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums), and guest vocalist Leena Conquest, is documented on Astonishments (december 2018).

The Center Will Hold (september 2019) documents a session with with Jason Kao Hwang (violin, viola, electronics), Ariel Bart (harmonica), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, electronics), Robert Boston (piano, organ) and Andrew Cyrille (drums, percussion).

Tonotopic Organizations (november 2019) reunited Swell with Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik.

Steve Swell's Systems For Total Immersion (june 2021) was a tribute to Luciano Berio, featuring Ellen Christi (voice, effects), Marty Ehrlich (flute, alto sax, bass clarinet), Sam Newsome (soprano sax), Jim Pugliese (marimba) and Gerald Cleaver (drums, percussion).

The Chicago Plan returned with the six lengthy improvisations of For New Zealand (december 2019).

We're Playing In Here? (april 2017) documents a session with Gebhard Ullmann (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Hilliard Greene (double bass) and Barry Altschul (drums).

Quartets/ Trios/ Duos (august 2007) featured Borah Bergman (piano), Perry Robinson (clarinet) and Ray Sage (drums) in several combinations.

(Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
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