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Trombonist Steve Swell presents an homage to composer Bela Bartok, applying jazz techniques to the composer's music to find something new and unexpected, in an amazing quintet with Connie Crothers (piano), William Parker (bass), Chad Taylor (drums) & Rob Brown (sax).

Swell's, Steve Kende Dreams (Swell/ Brown / Crothers / Parker / Taylor)
Hommage A Bartok

Swell's, Steve Kende Dreams (Swell/ Brown / Crothers / Parker / Taylor): Hommage A Bartok (Silkheart)

Label: Silkheart    
Released in: USA    

"Trombonist Steve Swell's approach to a Bartok homage on Kende Dreams is a synthesis as well, and it advisably leaves the encounter with the Hungarian a relatively loose and oblique affair, with specific points of convergence but an end product that feels more like it was inspired by the composer than obliged to adopt his methods. The seven tracks are creative music pitched at the highest level; as is that music's unalienable right, it absorbs and transforms things that it comes into contact with.

So, unlike Milhaud's attempts to quote or characterize jazz, this is jazz eating and fully digesting modern classical music, turning it into something else completely. The band is a very special configuration, pianist Connie Crothers adding a wild card element to the underground New York crew. On "Bartok Screams" and in a long unaccompanied stretch of "Lent-Oh!," her playing conjures a Bartok sensibility rather directly, pummeled clusters and dark pedal reminding how dissonant and forward thinking the composer could be.

But the playing is open and spontaneous, William Parker and Chad Taylor establishing a buoyant, floating matrix for free interplay. Taylor kicks off "After SQ4" - a piece inspired by the fourth string quartet - eventually hitting the funky groove. The band draws on the imagined traditional music of a town very close to the little-known burg of Ruddville on "Roswellian Folk Song." Swell's trombone is the appropriate feature here, his big, smeary solo tipping a hat to fellow sackbut master Roswell Rudd. Rob Brown spars with Parker on the angular, Steve Lacy-esque "Attack of the Mikrokosmos," his tart alto shooting off sparks; Crothers meets Taylor's (thumb) piano later in the track, exploring a more indirect energy, before Brown and Swell complete the round robin duets.

The usual thing to say about a tribute project dedicated to a deceased artist is that the subject would have liked it. I think that's beside the point. The question isn't whether Bartok would have enjoyed Kende Dreams or even recognized himself in it. It's more important that this is music he would never have imagined, a producer's idea that encouraged Swell to germinate new material and inspired the band to record a CD with a unique character that B.B. couldn't have foreseen."-John Corbett, April 2015

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Price: $16.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 7320470171578

Label: Silkheart
Catalog ID: SHCD160
Squidco Product Code: 21268

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, New York, on December 5th, 2015 by Jim Clouse.


Steve Swell-trombone

Rob Brown-alto saxophone

Connie Crothers-piano

William Parker-bass

Chad Taylor-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Roswellian Folk Song 7:58

2. For Will Connell Jr 7:52

3. After SQ4 9:59

4. Attack Of The Mikkrokosmos 8:12

5. Bartok Screams 13:40

6. Lent-Oh! 14:09

7. Ultima 8:34