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A diverse and engrossing solo album from NY-based, global travelling trombonist Steve Swell, showing vast creative and technical skills through unusual techniques that balance with inventive and lyrical approaches to the horn, a tour-de-force of modern playing.

Swell, Steve
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser

Swell, Steve: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser (Swell Records)

Label: Swell Records    
Released in: USA    

"Pick against a trombonist when considering the ability of defeating boredom through sheer inventiveness during an improvisation, and you're most probably in for a severe beating of your foolishness. Then again, when it comes to Steve Swell there's nothing we can do much better than listening in awe.

The man belongs at the very top of the mountain of trombone mastery in virtue of the completeness of his approach and the absolute enjoyableness of anything coming out of those tubes and valves. This splendidly titled album chronicles several of Swell's selfless colloquies with instantaneous inspiration, and constitutes an eloquent showcase of what he can do all alone. Which is impressive, to say the least.

A player endowed with confidence, humor and varicolored micro-melodicism, Swell extracts useful materials even from what could initially be misinterpreted as "extraneous noise". In a piece such as "Percolation Demonstration" he throws regular (sort of) tones together with mockingly cantankerous jabs that live at the border between noxious ventilation and distorted realism. Elsewhere, quick flurries are followed by one or two almost detached long notes, and animal blather is complemented by implausible intervallic jumps across the instrument's register (check "Cogitation" for reference). Talkative monotony is aurally portrayed in ways that recall Hungarian cartoons (if you have never watched Gustavus, go to YouTube right now and thank me later).

In essence, the multitude of images and influences informing this artist's creative prowess reassure us about the extant possibility of a coexistence of complex attractiveness and jesting intelligence. Both Swell and the acoustic revitalization he brings with this kind of work will always be warmly greeted guests in this tired writer's home and ears."-Massimo Ricci, Touching Extreme

"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.

Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.

Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.

Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."

-Steve Swell Website (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Recordings featuring brass instruments - trumpets, trombones, tubas, other horns
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the Swell Records label.

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Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 888295345521

Label: Swell Records
Catalog ID: SDS 001
Squidco Product Code: 22597

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, New York, inJune, 2015, by Jim Clouse.


Steve Swell-trombone

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Track Listing:

1. Sonorifics 04:50

2. Metal of Breath 02:20

3. Percolation Demonstration 03:10

4. For Kenneth Patchen 02:57

5. Sequences 02:23

6. Keep Your Head Low 03:12

7. Bubbling Quantum Novas 03:29

8. Off the Slide 02:02

9. Just on the Inside Corner 02:12

10. Cogitation 04:09

11. Tension-Attention 04:42

12. Ballet for Trombone 03:45

13. For Internal Use Only 04:13

14. Tongue Memory 03:00

15. Blue Spirit 02:51