homepage > artists > artist in detail

Steve Swell

Following Roswell Rudd footsteps, Steve Swell gained fame from being, most probably, the most acomplished of all American trombonists dedicated to the present encarnation of the free jazz aesthetic. Even when he plays in a non-idiomatic improvisation context, like in his recent Rossbin CD, “___ is an Apparition”, with Blue Collar, his vocabulary is solidly rooted in the jazz tradition – after all, he studied with Jimmy Knepper and Curtis Fuller and began his music career alongside musicians like Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich. It was by knowing Rudd and Grachan Monchur III that he became interested in the “free form” music born in the Sixties. An opportunity to work with Makanda Ken McIntyre did the rest and it was with no surprise that we found him recently side by side with his mentor, Roswell Rudd himself, in the Trombone Shout Band. Since jazz and improvisation became an universal language, his view of the trombone vocabulary isn’t simply an American one: listening to the Europeans Paul Rutherford, Giancarlo Schiafini and Walter Wierbos opened his mind for other sources and approaches, not imediatly connected with jazz. Every time he plays with other improvisers, he oppens himself to their influences. He’s that kind of artist and person, a non-egotistic believer in the virtues of a colective of minds and sensibilities: “I get something back from the other musicians which is really invaluable not only in terms of the music, but the spiritual connections that are made and bonds that occur when people get together to do what it is we do”, he said in a interview.

Steve Swell's records on clean feed
The Implicate Order at Seixal
Implicate Order
Turtle Crossing
Jumala Quintet
We Are Not Obstinate Islands
The Diplomats
Planet Dream
Steve Swell
Takes Off
Platform 1
  distribution contacts