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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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Postage

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

CD Review: Steve Swallow Quintet - Into the Woodwork

Steve Swallow (bs); Carla Bley (org); Chris Cheek (ten); Steve Cardenas (gtr); Jorge Rossy (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Textural is a word Steve Swallow uses in the press release to describe this 12 track, no discernible separation, album and it nicely sums up the pastoral rich opener Sad Old Man.
The title track, Into the Woodwork, has similar underpinnings but above it all Cheek emerges with a solo worthy of any of the great Blue Note tenormen. A Berklee graduate I wasn't familiar with his work but he has appeared on over 60 albums including several under his own name. Likewise Cardenas, he too has a prolific recording background and worked with Cheek in the Paul Motian Band. His playing on the album is clean and lyrical, keeping the melodic content flowing.
By now you've probably got the message that this isn't a typical organ/guitar/tenor soul session - it is too well textured (there's that word again) for that. Even Rossy's drum breaks are far removed from the showboating explosions of most drummers. Instead we get percussive lines integrated within the surrounds.
Carla Bley eschews the B3 with Leslie blast in favour of a more controlled - dare I say it? textured sound. Strangely, her solo on Still There includes an extensive quote from "Oh the driver's got the wind up" that merges into what sounds like the American version of "The Last Post" as played by the cavalry bugler in a thousand westerns.
Swallow composed all the pieces as well as adding distinctive bass lines and solos. The quintet do his compositions justice.
A CD that becomes increasingly more interesting and appealing with each listening.
Lance.
Steve Swallow Quintet - Into the Woodwork (ECM 2798380) is released in the UK on Monday June 17.
Check it out.

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