The Swallow Quintet: Into the Woodwork (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Swallow Quintet: Suitable For Framing
The Swallow Quintet: Into the Woodwork (ECM/Ode)

On paper, all the ingredients are in place here where the seniors - - the wonderful bassist Steve Swallow and extraordinary composer Carla Bley -- are united with the new generation: guitarist Steve Gardenas, tenor player Chris Cheek and drummer Jorge Rossy.

But here Bley -- who plays organ rather than piano -- is almost inconsequential.

So -- while this is the respectful career footnote which jazz trivia-types might want to pay attention to -- the rude fact is that this album is very ordinary.

Neither the old guard --  nor the supposedly new, and ridiculously respectful young blades -- do anything which might make an aficiondo of either school sit up, pay attention to, and/orbe impressed by.

There is some undeniably pleasant playing (especially from guitarist Gardenas) and in Still There a mischievious Bley whimsically quotes from some unusual standards. But it's disappointing to report this is mostly workmanlike and improv-by-rote.

Extra-ordinarily ordinary. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

ROY HARGROVE INTERVIEWED (1990): Young man with a horn

ROY HARGROVE INTERVIEWED (1990): Young man with a horn

Roy Hargrove’s youth is the reason he doesn’t have too much to say for himself. At 20, Hargrove simply may not have all that much to talk about. After all, what can he have done?... > Read more

RALPH TOWNER and JOHN ABERCROMBIE (2017): Staying true in the old style

RALPH TOWNER and JOHN ABERCROMBIE (2017): Staying true in the old style

The jazz imprint of the European label ECM has a reputation for acclaimed saxophonists (Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, John Surman, Joe Lovano, Steve Kuhn etc) and pianists (Keith Jarrett, Paul... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

DAMIEN HIRST: THE DOLLARS AND SENSE

DAMIEN HIRST: THE DOLLARS AND SENSE

Say what you like about British artist Damien Hirst, and everyone from international art critics to London cabbies do, he certainly pulls a crowd. At the Tate Modern in London, the queue of... > Read more

Ennio Morricone: Crime and Dissonance (2005)

Ennio Morricone: Crime and Dissonance (2005)

The great Italian composer, arranger and conductor Ennio Morricone will be 88 later this year, but he is still as productive as ever. And in February he conducted a concert of his music at... > Read more