Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Steve Swell Blazes Forth Again, 2003

I have covered a number of trombonist Steve Swell's albums so far in this blog. Here we have another. Why so much of Mr. Swell? Because I happen to be listening to some of his releases, catching up on what I have missed. And because he is an amazing player, important to the contemporary scene. Today's disk is Swell in a group called the New York BrassWoodTrio. It includes the very together playing of Tom Abbs on bass and tuba, and a very simpatico Geoff Mann on drums, cornet and glockenspiel. Still in Movement (CIMP, recorded 2003) contains nine original pieces that live up to the title of the disk. The group moves deftly through a series of routines that show their improv prowess in a very good light. Amazing are the moments where the band turns into a brass trio via the doubling of Abbs and Mann.

Most amazing though is the improvising of Steve Swell himself. Listen to him on this set if you have any doubt of what he can do. He's very earthy, brash, a player who can overwhelm you with his sheer power and virtuosity. He does that throughout. The patented CIMP recording technique of minimal miking, letting the natural dynamics of the band and the room dominate, lets the music shine through from beginning to end.

Am I shilling for Steve Swell and CIMP? Hardly. Nobody pays me to say these things. I am rather fiercely independent and happen to be an enthusiast of the player and the label concerned because both offer an exceptional experience of the music today. So if you read further coverage of either here on these pages in the future (and you will), you'll understand why. And that goes for everything I review. I follow the muse, not necessarily industry trends.

Check out more on Still in Movement at http://www.cadencebuilding.com/.

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