Steve Swell News

Source: Steve Swell.

It has been a pretty busy winter performing with Craig Harris at Winter JazzFest, William Parker at Roulette, Bernard Purdie at Joe’s Pub, Bobby Zankel in Philadelphia, Joe McPhee and Paal Nilssen-Love at Clemente Soto Velez, Kidd Jordan, Alvin Fielder and Joel Futterman in New Orleans and Taylor Ho Bynum at Roulette.

There have also been a slew of recordings one of which is my Soul Travelers LP on the RogueArt label with Jemeel Moondoc, Dave Burrell, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver. It was one of those chosen Record of the Year 2016 by the New York City Jazz Record.

The spring and summer are going to be busy as well. Most notably a new project of mine with Matt Shipp, Jason Hwang, Rob Brown, Tomas Ulrich and Jim Pugliese are rehearsing pieces inspired by composer Olivier Messiaen that will be performed and recorded live at Metro Baptist Church, 311 West 40th St. NYC for the Silkheart Label on May 17.

My co lead band with Gebhard Ullmann which has Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang will also perform at the Vision Festival on June 2. We just released a CD called the Chicago Plan on Clean Feed.

Additional recordings and performances include Jason Hwang’s Sing House CD release, another Brotzmann/Swell/Nilssen-Love CD (Live in Tel Aviv!), Soul Travelers to headline Edgefest (Ann Arbor) in October, a new CD from Stuart Popejoy, a new CD from Allen Lowe, residencies in Houston and Krakow, and more! Stay tuned!

The New York Loft Scene Profiled

Source: PopMatters.

What they weren’t able to do was get gigs in jazz clubs. Many of those venues were drying up, as jazz’s receding from mass awareness was in full swing (save for the electric work of Miles Davis and bands formed by members of his various aggregations, and popular jazz-funk hits), and those that were hanging on weren’t having all that caterwauling in their establishments. So the avant-jazzers made their own infrastructure, using vacant buildings in Manhattan as rehearsal, performance and, for some, living spaces.

These spaces, with their wide-open floor plans, were repurposed from their former lives as factories and warehouses. Sometimes the actual owners knew about it, but that doesn’t seem to have always been the case. From this turf, musicians staged their own concerts, held their own jam sessions, and forged their own micro-economy. Eventually, word got out, and as is often the case, someone felt inspired to label this new thing. As is also often the case, the people being labeled weren’t all that happy with the label that stuck: “loft jazz”.

Jazz in NYC This Week

Source: The New York Times.

ALTERNATIVE GUITAR SUMMIT 2017 CELEBRATES PAT METHENY at Le Poisson Rouge (March 10, 7 p.m.). Each year, the producer Joel Harrison convenes some of music’s most forward-thinking guitarists for a celebration of all things six-string, spread out over several days with concerts and master classes around New York. The peak event of this year’s run will honor Pat Metheny, a jazz-fusion guitarist who has won 20 Grammys and, in a career that began in the 1970s, has worked with virtuosos like Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette and Joni Mitchell. Mr. Metheny will be toasted by a murderers’ row of ax masters, including the brilliant avant-garde wizard Nels Cline, performing with the Nels Cline Trio.

DUNGEN at BRIC Arts Media House (March 16, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). This consistently underrated psychedelic-rock band from Sweden rarely tours America, but for its latest United States appearance, the quartet will perform its most ambitious project to date: an original score to the 1926 silent fairy tale film “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” by the German director Lotte Reiniger. Dungen’s companion piece is a stunning odyssey of spaced-out rock instrumentals, kinetic bebop grooves and heavy guitar jams that would not sound out of place on a Pink Floyd album.

STEPHAN CRUMP’S RHOMBAL at the Cornelia Street Café (March 15, 8 and 9:30 p.m.). If you recognize Mr. Crump, it’s likely as the bassist in Vijay Iyer’s renowned trio. But for many years he has maintained his own projects, often in the form of dimly lit, chamberlike music. His most recent album, “Rhombal,” features a suite of subtly woven original tunes performed by an outstanding quartet including the tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, the trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. The horns engage in an unhurried exchange, letting tones and colors drift upward.

TOM CSATARI AND UNCIVILIZED at Barbès (March 15, 8 p.m.). Uncivilized is a little too raw to be called atmospheric, a little too pub-band to be called jazz, and a little too antivirtuoso to be called orchestral. This revolving group of horns, strings and percussion makes loosefitting music that seems to align with an alternative strain of New York City folklore — the genealogy of William S. Burroughs, Diane Arbus and John Zorn. Out next week, the collective’s latest EP, “New York,” consists of four tunes, each recorded live at a different since-closed watering hole in Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan. On Wednesday, Uncivilized celebrates the release by beginning a run of monthly shows at Barbès. For this performance the band will feature 12 musicians — including two guitarists, two bassists, two drummers and two bass clarinetists.

Music and More Reviews

Source: Music and More.

Chicago London Underground – A Night Walking Through Mirrors (Cuneiform, 2017)
DEK Trio – Burning Below Zero (Trost, 2017)
Lisa Mezzacappa – avantNOIR (Clean Feed, 2017)
Gorilla Mask – Iron Lung (Clean Feed, 2016)
Noah Preminger – Meditations on Freedom (Self Released, 2017)
David Weiss and Point of Departure – Wake Up Call (Ropeadope, 2017)