Steve Swallow

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Steve Swallow, Moers Festival 2012

Stephen W. "Steve" Swallow (born October 4, 1940 in New York City ) is an American jazz bassist. As one of the first bass players after Monk Montgomery , he used the bass guitar at the end of the 1960s , for which he set decisive standards with adequate technique and an instrument-appropriate style that picked up on the most varied of influences. He developed a vocal-like, lyrical sound.

Live and act

Swallow grew up in Fair Lawn , New Jersey , and took piano and trumpet lessons from Howard Kasschau as a child before switching to the double bass when he was eighteen . He attended private school in New England , where he gained his first experience in improvisation with his classmate Ian Underwood . At Yale University he studied literature, but also composition with Donald Martino . He also played Dixieland in student bands with which he accompanied Pee Wee Russell , Buck Clayton and Vic Dickenson .

In 1960 he met Paul and Carla Bley , with whom he went to New York. There he worked with Paul Bley and the Jimmy Giuffre Trio , where he was noticed as an equal, integral part of a band ( Free Fall ). He also stepped u. a. with the sextet by George Russell ( Ezz-thetics ), João Gilberto , Sheila Jordan and Benny Goodman , Marian McPartland , Chico Hamilton , Al Cohn , Zoot Sims , Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer .

In 1964 he became a member of the Art Farmer Quartet and began to compose. From 1965 to 1967 he was a member of the Stan Getz Quartet , in 1968 he became a member of Gary Burton's Quartet, in which he switched from double bass to electric bass , encouraged by Jerry Hahn : “He completely changed the fingering towards a more guitar-oriented system. He plays according to the instrument's own requirements, so that it doesn't sound like an amplified acoustic bass. ”(Gary Burton) As a member of the Jazz Composer's Orchestra , he was involved in the recording of Escalator over the Hill . In the early 1970s he retired to San Francisco for three years , where he composed and occasionally performed with Art Lande and Mike Nock . From 1974 to 1976 he taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston . He has performed with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie , Michael Brecker , George Benson and Herbie Hancock and made recordings with Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Bob Moses , Steve Lacy and Michael Mantler .

In 1978 Swallow became a member of the Carla Bley Band . From 1980 to 1984 he worked with John Scofield , partly in a duet, partly in a trio with Adam Nussbaum . He also produced albums with Karen Mantler , Lew Soloff and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and then worked as a co-producer for Carla Bley ( Night-GIo , Carla ). During this time he also worked a. a. with Joe Lovano , Motohiko Hino , Ernie Watts , Michael Gibbs , Rabih Abou-Khalil , Paul Bley, Henri Texier , Michel Portal , Allen Ginsberg and Kip Hanrahan . He has lived with Carla Bley since 1991.

From 1989 to 1995 Swallow worked frequently in a trio with Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley. At the London Jazz Festival 1994 the singer Norma Winstone performed a concert of his compositions. In 1997 he founded the Steve Swallow Quintet , which included Chris Potter , Ryan Kisor (later Barry Ries ), Mick Goodrick and Adam Nussbaum . In the same year Swallow performed with the Trio 2000 , to which Paul Motian and Chris Potter belonged, worked a. a. with Henri Texier, Lee Konitz and Bob Brookmeyer , Glen Moore , Ettore Fioravanti and Michel Portal and produced an album with Christophe Marguet .

In 1998 he worked a. a. with Lee Konitz and Paul Motian, took part in the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, performed with the Harvard University Jazz Band and pianist Christian Jacob and toured with Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band , in a trio with John Scofield and Bill Stewart and with Carla Bley.

In 1999 he undertook a. a. Tours with his own quintet, he was also on tour with Toots Thielemans , Kenny Werner , Norma Winstone, John Taylor and Ralph Towner as well as with Carla Bley and Andy Sheppard . In 2000 he performed in Japan and South America with Carla Bley, in Europe with Paulo Bellinati and in Europe and North America with Bobby Previte and John Scofield. In 2008 he played in a trio with Bley and the English saxophonist Andy Sheppard live in New York's Birdland ("Songs with Legs"); the following year he worked with jazzwerkruhr ; In 2010 he was in a trio with David Liebman and Adam Nussbaum and in a quartet with Gwilym Simcock in Europe.

His compositions have been performed by musicians such as Bill Evans , Mike Gibbs , Chick Corea , Stan Getz, Gary Burton, Art Farmer, Phil Woods , Jack DeJohnette , Steve Kuhn , Lyle Mays , Jim Hall and Pat Metheny .

Prizes and awards

Swallow has been recognized as a leading electric bass player in the Down Beat Critics ' Poll since 1983 and in the Readers' Poll since 1985, as well as in the Jazz Times poll .

Discographic notes

Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Swallow Tales (with John Scofield & Bill Stewart )
  DE 96 06/19/2020 (1 week)
  CH 56 06/14/2020 (4 weeks)
Steve Swallow at a concert with Carla Bley, Treibhaus Innsbruck, 2009
  • Gary Burton / Steve Swallow: Hotel Hello , 1974
  • Home , 1976
  • Carla , 1986/87
  • Duets , with Carla Bley, 1988
  • The Life of a Trio: Saturday and Sunday with Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, 1989
  • Swallow , 1991
  • Go Together , with Carla Bley, 1993
  • Real Book , 1994
  • Songs With Legs with Carla Bley and Andy Sheppard, 1995
  • Deconstructed , Steve Swallow Quintet, 1997
  • Are We There Yet? , with Carla Bley, 1998
  • Damaged In Transit with Chris Potter and Adam Nussbaum, 2001
  • Steve Swallow / Ohad Talmor : L'histoire du Clochard (The Bum's Tale) , with Russ Johnson , Meg Olura, Greg Tardy , Jacob Garchik , 2004
  • Singular Curves , with Ohad Talmor and Adam Nussbaum, 2014
  • John Scofield: Swallow Tales , with Bill Stewart, 2020

Lexigraphic entries

Web links

Commons : Steve Swallow  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Chart sources: Germany Switzerland
  2. Real Book at Allmusic (English)
  3. L'histoire du Clochard on Allmusic (English)
  4. Michael Rüsenberg : John Scofield: Swallow Tales., accessed on July 19, 2020 .