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

Reuben Bradley: Cthulhu Rising (Rattle Jazz)

Reuben Bradley: Cthulhu Rising (Rattle Jazz)

First in passing, a comment about the consistency of packaging of CDs on the Rattle and Rattle Jazz labels: they are excellent and make the CD into an art object. That is enhanced especially on... > Read more

NPME: Mareureu (Pacific Echoes)

NPME: Mareureu (Pacific Echoes)

There is a growing genre of Pacific-influenced jazz: the Mamaku Project (see tag) has elements of it, and this album by the New Pacific Music Ensemble is another. With saxophones and electric... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Moby Grape, Moby Grape (1967)

Moby Grape, Moby Grape (1967)

The short and dramatic story of San Francisco psychedelic folk-rockers Moby Grape is one of the collision of blazing musical talent, shonky management, record company overkill and bad luck. And it... > Read more

J.J. CALE REMEMBERED (2014): Old slowhands together

J.J. CALE REMEMBERED (2014): Old slowhands together

I came to the late J.J. Cale rather late. Sure, I heard those Seventies albums, but they were mostly just aural wallpaper to whatever else was going on. Cale didn't shove his music at you, he... > Read more