BOOK: 'Steve Swallow: Getting to Second Bass'

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Just stumbled upon an interesting-sounding book on Steve Swallow on the internet. Have recently discovered Steve's playing, and like it very much. I know he has a few other fans around here, so I was wondering whether anyone has this book, and if so, what they think of it?

    Blurb from the webpage:

    Steve Swallow has been one of the most important acoustic and electric bassists in the world of jazz for over thirty-five years. Swallow's most significant accomplishment, and a central focus of this book, has been his pre-eminence as a virtuoso jazz performer on the electric bass, which he did more to establish in jazz than any other performer. He has demonstrated that the electric bass can function successfully in a traditional jazz setting and as a unique and respected solo voice. Swallow is one of the few electric bassists accepted by jazz musicians and his place in jazz history is of innovative and iconoclastic significance.

    Despite Swallow's influence as a jazz bassist and an electric bass innovator, there has been a dearth of literature written about him. As a contemporary jazz icon, virtuosic instrumentalist, prolific writer, and popular accompanist, Swallow's music is a topic of study that yields a wealth of information concerning electric bass performance, jazz performance, composition, and history. The findings of this study are especially beneficial for electric bassists, acoustic bassists, and other instrumentalists in terms of performance practice, in addition to its value for improvisers and composers.

    This book looks closely at Swallow's life, especially during the critical period of the late 1960s, when he took up the electric bass exclusively after playing the acoustic bass. To contextualize and support the specifics of Swallow's activities as a bassist, this book chronicles briefly the history and aesthetics of electronic instruments in the 20th century, focusing specifically on the electric guitar and the electric bass.

    This study also documents the reactions of his contemporaries. This research examines comprehensively the general differences between the double bass and electric bass, to better explain the technical challenges and expanded artistic opportunities that Swallow initiated through his unique types of innovative developments. In addition, his contributions to music as a composer, performer, bandleader, and improviser will be examined.

    To further illuminate Swallow's musical contributions and unique playing style, analysis of three of his works ("Ice Cream," "She Was Young," and, "Reinventing the Wheel") are included.
  2. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Let me know if you get it Josh. I've just tried to order it but I don't have a credit card! :(
  3. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK

    Haven't ordered the book yet, but I do have a DVD coming tomorrow called 'Famous Jazz Duets' - the first half is a 1982 show of Chick Corea & Gary Burton (think I have seen this before though) - the second half is a 1988 Carla Bley/Steve Swallow duet gig. Looking forward to watching it.

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