The Squid's Ear Magazine

Sewelson, Dave (w/ Steve Swell / William Parker / Marvin Bugalu Smith): More Music for a Free World (Mahakala Music)

Baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson leads this collective quartet of New York associated players Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on bass, abd Marvin Bugalu Smith on drums, a masterful example of modern creative jazz with a strongly lyrical attitude, through two extended improvisations and ending with a shorter "Reflections"; exemplary free jazz.

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product information:

UPC: 888295972857

Label: Mahakala Music
Catalog ID: MAHA-020-002
Squidco Product Code: 28678

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Park West Studios, in Brooklyn, New york, on December 17th, 2018, by Jim Clouse.


Dave Sewelson-baritone saxophone

Steve Swell-trombone

William Parker-bass

Marvin Bugalu Smith-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This offering was recorded in Brooklyn, New York, the music capital of the world, at Park West Studios on December 17 of 2018 by Jim Clouse, a guy who knows and honors this music with his highly advanced recording methods. The way this came about is somewhat miraculous.

William Parker had included a talk he had with Dave Sewelson, the instigator of these proceedings, in his latest book Conversations III. Chad Fowler was reading the chapter in his kitchen in Arkansas when he read Sewelson mention a recording "tried to put another one out. If anybody out there wants to put that out..." He immediately knew he wanted to release in on Mahakala Music. He knew master recording engineer Jim Clouse had it in the can and was the one to talk to connect him with Sewelson. The results of these synchronous events are a delight to hear.

The music here is completely improvised. Maybe someone was going to tell the musicians to try to make some shorter pieces, less challenging for a casual listener but they didn't. Perhaps someone said, let the drums kick this one off or "go" but no instruction was given. These sounds come out of the silence that is already swinging. The results show what has been known since 2017, that when these four musicians start playing together the result is exquisite music. Call it chemistry, collaboration, community but it is contagious."-Mahakala Music

"Baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson may not possess the avant-garde star power of downtown New York City brethren like Matthew Shipp, William Parker, or Daniel Carter, but there's no denying he's a major player. Best known as a longtime member of Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and a cofounder of Microscopic Septet, and more recently heard in guitarist Brad Farberman's Middle Blue, Sewelson has a tone as big as his flowing white beard. But his recorded output as a leader has been just the opposite. He first debuted under his own name in 1979 with Synchro-incity; nearly four decades separated that recording and its followup, 2018's Music for a Free World.

Luckily, Sewelson didn't make us wait another 40 years for his next disc. On More Music for a Free World, he's reconvened the previous album's lineup of bassist Parker, trombonist Steve Swell, and drummer Marvin Bugalu Smith (Archie Shepp, Sun Ra) for another all-improvised set. But while their debut pushed the skronk envelope, More Music for a Free World is lyrical and cosmic. The members of this quartet are all stalwarts of the NYC-based Arts for Art, the not-for-profit dedicated to the promotion and advancement of free jazz, and they've sublimely captured the spirit of the shows that organization puts on year-round in these three epic tracks.

The opening "Memories" is a world-class lesson in psychic interplay, as infectious melodic phrases free-float over bluesy bebopping rhythmic fury. It's 23 minutes of pure bliss and kinetic energy. "Dreams" follows with 27 minutes of similarly effortless euphoric melodicism, before the album concludes with the introspective "Reflections."

2020 is still young, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better free-jazz record-or one that more deeply oozes the hustle and bustle of NYC-than More Music for a Free World."-Brad Cohan, JazzTimes

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
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Artist Biographies

"Dave Sewelson was born in Oakland, California, in 1952. There was a half-size violin kept in the closet in case he wanted to be a concert violinist. He played trumpet at the age of nine, moving to baritone horn at the age of eleven, followed by a stint on drums until settling on electric bass at thirteen, adding upright bass to the mix until the switch to saxophone at the age of twenty-one. He has specialized in the baritone saxophone since the early seventies.

Sewelson arrived in New York City in the summer of 1977, settled in the East Village becoming an active member of the Downtown Scene, playing with the 25 O'Clock Band, Jemeel Moondoc's Jus Grew Orchestra, William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and Saheb Sarbib's Multinational Big Band and the Microscopic Septet. He has played with many wonderful musicians, including, Billly Bang, John Zorn, Peter Kuhn, Alex Cline, Roy Campbell, Sonny Murray, Kidd Jordan, Daniel Carter, Will Connell and Stephanie Stone.. Dave's current projects include, Two Sisters Inc. with David Hofstra and Claire Daly, a quartet with Peter Kuhn, Smooth Freejazz, Sewelsonics, and The Daves."

-Dave Sewelson Website (

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"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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Marvin "Boogaloo" Smith (also Bugalu Smith , born 1948 in Englewood, New Jersey ) is an American jazz musician ( drums ).

Smith comes from a musical family in New Jersey ; his older brother was the drummer Earl "Buster" Smith (1932-2003). At the age of 16, he first had the opportunity to record in the local Town Sound Studio; he played there in the following years as a session musician with James Brown , Sam and Dave and Lola Falana ; next to it in the radio band The Knights of Soul . In 1969, Tyree Glenn brought him into the backing band of the singer Rocky Roberts, who enjoyed popularity in Italy at that time. From the mid-1970s, he played in Italy with the Quintetto Dino Piana / Marcello Rosa (who also belonged to Enrico Pieranunzi ) and with the pianist Patrizia Scascitelli (with whom he was married in 1977-85). In 1980 he moved to New York City; In the 1980s, he was a member of Sun Ra Arkestra, heard on the albums Love in Outer Space: Live in Utrecht ( Leo , 1983) and A Night in East Berlin (1986). He also played with Archie Shepp ( Soul Song , 1982 and Down Home New York , 1984), Ben Koen & The Unity Ensemble (1997), David Haney ( Stix and Stones ) and Kali Fasteau ( Oneness , 2003), in later years also in the trio with William Parker and Charles Gayle , 2018 in the Dave Sewelson Trio (with William Parker). In the field of jazz he was involved between 1975 and 2003 in seven recording sessions.

Marvin "Boogaloo" Smith is not to be confused with jazz drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) („Boogaloo“_Smith)

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Track Listing:

1. Memories 23:00

2. Dreams 27:16

3. Reflections 8:48

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Parker, William
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