Steve Swell | Remember Now | Not Two Records

Not Two, 2006 | MW 772-2 | CD

Steve Swell – trombone, compositions | Sabir Mateen – alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet, alto clarinet | Matthew Heyner – bass | Klaus Kugel – drums

All compositions by Steve Swell (Steve Swell Music / BMI). Recorded at Newsonic Studios, Brooklyn, NY, October 4, 2005. Engineer: Seth Misterka. Photos: John Rogers. Cover: JAZDA III by Andrzej L. Turek (stick-in picture on paper 20cm x 23cm). Design: Andrzej Wojnowski

Tracklist: 1. Antlers [03:04] 2. MB-1 (for Marion Brown) [09:21] 3. Patient Explorer [06:33] 4. Grow Your Own [04:27] 5. We Interrupt This Channel [10:51] 6. Remember Now [07:46] 7. Different Degrees [07:05] 8. Stride Right [05:45]

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.

This has the effect of propelling saxophonist Sabir Mateen to a powerful tenor solo that reaches the stratosphere. The title track is propelled by a lopsided ostinato phrase as the horns state the theme in unison above. It’s reminiscent of the type of themes Grachan Moncur III was writing during his BYG-Actuel phase. Swell plays a big, blustery solo that stretches the rhythm this way and that (listen to the way Kugel responds) and creates remarkable tension. When Mateen enters on tenor, he plays a couple of phrases in a raspy almost Archie Shepp-type voice before settling into a more typical solo that takes the material soaring before bringing it back down to earth with a couple of decisive phrases. Every track has something to offer. Each are cut so closely that the effect is of an hour-long suite. It’s almost hard to take this disc off once one puts it on. Remember Now makes a good case for Slammin’  The Infinite being one of the most exciting working groups in jazz/improvised music today.– Robert Iannapollo, All About Jazz)



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