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

JONATHAN ZWARTZ: Bass player in debut album shock . . . 20 years on

JONATHAN ZWARTZ: Bass player in debut album shock . . . 20 years on

Even longtime jazz listeners would be forgiven for not recognising the name of New Zealand-born double bassist Jonathan Zwartz. He left this country for Australia in the early Eighties, studied in... > Read more

KAMASI WASHINGTON; THE EPIC (2015): Sometimes bigger is much better

KAMASI WASHINGTON; THE EPIC (2015): Sometimes bigger is much better

If progressive rock of the late Sixties and early Seventies taught us anything it was this. That only a rare musician (Pete Townshend of the Who, the acerbic Frank Zappa, Ian Anderson of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: Saoco! (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

Various Artists: Saoco! (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

Subtitled “The bomba and plena explosion in Puerto Rico 1954-66”, this double disc ensures your library of bomba and plena just got a shelf-filler. For most of us, myself included,... > Read more

VIKY GARDEN INTERVIEWED (2013): See me, feel me . . .

VIKY GARDEN INTERVIEWED (2013): See me, feel me . . .

For more than 20 years Auckland artist Viky Garden has worked away from the mainstream of the New Zealand art world. Hers isn't a name that crops up regularly in general arts coverage and yet her... > Read more