Scofield/Swallow/Stewart: Swallow Tales (ECM/digital outlets)

 |   |  1 min read

Scofield/Swallow/Stewart: Swallow Tales (ECM/digital outlets)

Anyone who has even a modest collection of ECM jazz albums will have encountered bassist Steve Swallow, most often on albums with his longtime partner Carla Bley but also with vibes player Gary Burton, and with guitarist John Scofield with whom he has an almost intuitive understanding born of four decades of playing and recording together.

This album of Swallow's compositions is a salute to the 79-year old by Scofield – who shares Swallow's humour when it comes to quirky song titles, like Awful Coffee here – and drummer Bill Stewart which not only recognises his compositional skills but sparkles with typical Scofield wit.

Check his fretboard descents on the nine minute-plus opener She Was Young, inspired by a Robert Creeley poem which appeared on Swallow's recently reissued Home album of '80 with Sheila Jordan and the late Lyle Mays among others.

But Scofield also explores Swallow's melodic subtlety, as on the delicate and barely there Away and his minor classic Hullo Bolinas which was played as far back as the Seventies by pianist Bill Evans.

So there is an accrued history within many of these nine pieces

There are delightful pieces here such as the melodically fluid Eiderdown and the brightly swinging Radio which, among others, confirm the more musical than metronomic approach Stewart takes to playing.

This is typically thoughtful, assured and enjoyable jazz from players who have decades of experience together and, as on Away, know the value of understatement.

.

You can hear this album on Spotify here.

.

Elsewhere has a considerable amount about Steve Swallow here,  and John Scofield including this interview.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

The Comet is Coming: The Afterlife (Impulse!/digital outlets)

The Comet is Coming: The Afterlife (Impulse!/digital outlets)

Billed as “a companion piece to the group's breakout album Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery”, (an Elsewhere favourite from earlier this year) this six track, 30 minute... > Read more

THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET (1968-70): Lost in the big Apple

THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET (1968-70): Lost in the big Apple

If you had a bottomless pit of money to start your own record company, who would you sign? That's what the Beatles faced when they launched Apple Records in early 68. Their famous ad which... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Kris Kristofferson; Civic, Auckland. April 30, 2014

Kris Kristofferson; Civic, Auckland. April 30, 2014

Exactly 20 years ago I heard a song which changed the way I thought about how a song can be interpreted. It was at Carnegie Hall and the occasion was the 50th anniversary of the Verve jazz... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris from Gold Medal Famous

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Chris from Gold Medal Famous

You have to like and admire Wellington's artrock-cum-satirical pop group Gold Medal Famous. They rock, they roll, they are witty and droll. When Elsewhere reviewed their 2011 album 100... > Read more