Source: All About Jazz.
Steve Swell is a New York based trombonist who for forty years has pursued music at the frontier, variously called avant-garde, the new thing, free jazz, the “outside,” music that goes beyond conventionality, is sometimes controversial, and often challenges the listening process. From his early exposures to trombonists Roswell Rudd and Grachan Moncur III, as well as innovators like Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and David Murray, he has joined others in America and Europe who compose and play outside standard expectations. Such music is dismissed by some critics and lauded by others. Regardless of opinion, it has influenced all of jazz, regardless of genre. In this interview, Swell reflects on the place of such music in the ever-expanding jazz scene of the New Millennium. He also shares his ideas on how listeners and musicians can expand their horizons to appreciate music that initially seems foreign or disturbing.