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Saw Steve Swallow Last Night!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by boogiebass, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    What a great bassist! He was using his latest Citron 5 through what appeared to be a VERY old Walter Woods (plain red front panel, no lettering at all) and what was undoubtedly a provided cab, an Ampeg 410. The cab was set up really high on a platform behind him that put the drivers at about ear level! His tone was warm but sharp (he plays with a bronze pic or something, I believe).

    Anyway, his playing was extremely tasty and he played with great dynamics. A real master. The concert was Carla Bley's Lost Chords quartet. I highly recommend seeing this band if they're in your area and you appreciate this kind of modern jazz. Brilliant! :D
  2. Futurebass


    Jun 22, 2005
  3. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Not only did you see the second-to-last show, but they never did come anywhere near here.

  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Well, he was wonderful. I went up to the stage while he was retuning during the set break and told him so, too. Big smile and thank you. Great cat.
  5. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Saw him in St. Louis earlier this year with the Scofield trio... same bass and amp with an SWR GoliathIII. He was a little buried in the mix when I heard him, and I was sitting about 10 feet away from him! Scofield and Bill Stewart were playing loud. However, the notes were great!
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    To say I'm jealous would be an understatement. The only time he's been around Boston recently was with the Scofield trio and I didn't go to see because I didn't like the album. My loss........I should've gone just to see Steve Swallow. He's an important part of what I'm trying to do musically with my feel. There's a reason why he's one of the only electric players to be seen or heard in a more traditional jazz context. Beautiful cat.
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Too bad. He was sitting just about perfectly in the mix with Carla and Co. but this was in an acoustically awesome auditorium in La Jolla that seats 352 and was clearly designed for acoustic instruments. Take a look at this and imagine what they sounded like in it!

  9. The first time I heard Steve Swallow, was when he appeared on the long forgotten and sorely underrated "Night Music" with Carla Bley. I had been playing bass for less than a year and was a Rush fanatic, so I appreciated it, but couldn't fully understand it.
    Then just this week, my friend found someone selling episodes of "Night Music" on eBay. The one he found just happened to have this performance on it, and he got it for me as a late birthday gift.
    So here we are 16 years later and it is the most stunning performance I have seen in a while. His tone is impeccable. The thing that really grabs me is, they aren't "chops" solos. They're just these strings of beautiful melodies. It is totally making me reevaulate my own playing.
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    that gig must have been a blast, boog. He is truly one of the greats!

    I saw him with the Sco Trio earlier this year when Brad Mehldau Trio was their opener... Steve's solos are so tasteful, his melodies were like wise conversation-like phrases... real soulful and dynamic.
  11. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    You lucky dog! I almost went to see Steve and Carla in NorCal last week (Pat Metheny trio was also on the bill)--but alas, I had a $50 jazz gig at a department store that night. I've always wanted to see Steve live--his melodic approach and tone are a huge influence on me.
  12. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I have a DVD which has about 30mins of Bley/Swallow duets (the rest of the disc is a long Corea/Burton set):


    Following this thread inspired me to pull out a DVD-R of the trio of Bley/Swallow/Andy Sheppard from about two years ago (taken from the TV). :cool:

    There is a new album of interest to Swallow fans: the second album by the trio of Steve, Hans Ulrik (sax) and Jonas Johansen (dr). It's called 'Tin Pan Aliens' and seems to be only available as an import from mainland Europe at the moment.

  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Is the DVD you have the same duets that was released on VHS as "Very, Very Simple?" That's one of my all time favorite music video performances.
  14. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK

    I don't have that video but I believe they are the same footage. It's from the early-mid '80s and Steve is playing a 4-string bass. I don't have the tracklisting to hand, but I know that it includes 'Soon I Will be Done with the Troubles of this World' and ends with 'Very Very Simple'.
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Sounds like the same one. They really define the term "intimate" in those duets.
  16. timmarks

    timmarks Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, D'Addario, Mesa
    yeah that's the same duets concert--"very very simple". I have a VHS copy.
    I've never gotten to see him live, but I've been a big fan for a long time. There was a record of his called "Real Book" from about 10 years ago that I wore out.....also, there is a really great Paul Motion Electric Bebop Band record with SS....