Steve Swell’s Slammin’ The Infinite | 5000 Poems | Not Two Records

Slammin’ IV – 5.000 Poems The title for this fourth installment of Slammin’ The Infinite takes its name from an essay by Walt Whitman. His theme in this essay, briefly summarized, is that in all art, and life too for that matter, being prolific, hardworking and productive in all you do, including trying those things whose outcome may not be exactly perfect in one’s mind, will eventually lead to that one good idea or work of art. Farmers after all plant many seeds, not just one, in the hope that some of those seeds will yield a nourishing crop. So it is with how I view my own work as an improvising musician and composer. Only by constantly creating can there be any hope that some of that creating will yield something worthwhile. Something that will mean something to someone, making that connection to even that one listener that might be moved and nourished by this most human of endeavors. I am fortunate to have a band that is still working together planting those seeds as a band and as individuals throughout the world always in the hope of creating that one crop of abundance that might fill the listener with strenght and hope and life. Also, there would be no ground to plant these musical seeds if it weren’t for the likes of Marek Winiarski, the wonderful people of Alchemia in Krakow and that most gentle and wisest of gardeners, Barbara Backer Manes. Thanking them all here does not even scratch the surface of their commitment to this music and to me personally. To all of them and the amazing musicians on this recording that I have been fortunate to work with, I am humbly grateful. —Steve Swell Continue reading

Steve Swell | Live at the Vision Festival | Not Two Records

The opening set of Saturday evening was a killer.Steve Swell’s Slammin’ the Infinite, a working unit now for some two and a half years, hit the Vision Festival fresh from a European tour. This is just one of a number of regular projects for the increasingly visible Swell, but perhaps the one which showcases his writing, organisation and virtuosity to best effect. For this performance special guest John Blum was added on piano. Slum is one of the hitherto overlooked horde of musicians in NYC….but on this showing, wider exposure will surely not be long in coming.” — John Sharpe All About Jazz Continue reading

Steve Swell | Remember Now | Not Two Records

Remember Now is the second release of trombonist’s Steve Swell Slammin’ The Infinite band, and they now sound more like a unit. Rather than two front line soloists with a rhythm section, on this release they seem like a group of four equals. The rhythm section of Matthew Heyner (who is amazing on this disc) and Klaus Kugel (ditto) has really developed into a team that is just as able to step out in front and lead the band as to drive it along from behind. And the material Swell has written takes full advantage of this. The opening track “Antlers” is a good example. Those who think this group as merely an energy blowing band may be surprised by this track. The horns play written material throughout, a series of off kilter phrases that form a springboard for the rhythm section and a feature for Heyner. His arco bass work on this track shows that he’s the heir apparent to Alan Silva, with careening lines flowing effortlessly off his bow. Elsewhere Swell scores out fiery phrases for the horns. MB-1 (for Marion Brown) has the horns stating the theme, jabbing out staccato phrases.– Robert Iannapollo, All About Jazz) Continue reading