Monday, November 8, 2010

Steve Swell with Roswell Rudd, 1996

We turn back the clocks today as those who follow the US time schedule did this past Sunday morning. Today we go back to 1996 and an album by the Steve Swell Quartet, Out and About (CIMP 116). It's a trombone summit of sorts between the leaders of two generations of avant expression. Steve Swell heads up the quartet and provides the blowing vehicles and Roswell Rudd joins that band as a key fellow front-liner. The unit is rounded out in effective fashion by bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Lou Grassi.

Maestros Swell and Rudd top the list of important players who work with the extroverted free approach to the horn. Mr. Rudd was one of the pioneers of the new thing and remains vital today; Mr. Swell has extended and built upon the over-and-out trombone approach that Rudd helped establish.

Out and About brings out the best in both. They seem to feel completely at home musically in one another's presence; they come through with excellent avant solos and double solos throughout. It's all of course serious but there is some humor there as well. Like on the number "Start Up," in which Steve has worked out a head melody using the rhythmic structure of "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," but decidedly not the pitches!

Out may not have been the first recorded meeting of the two bonemasters and they continue to get together musically, so it isn't the last. But is no doubt one of the best. It's a recording no adherent to out bonedome should forgo. A modern classic! See the Cadence link to find out more.

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