Steve Swallow

Steve Swallow is a long-standing favorite of jazz critics for his electric bass playing. Instead of being rock-oriented, Swallow emphasizes high notes and approaches his electric bass as if it were an instrument. As a teenager, he started out on trumpet and piano before moving to the acoustic basses. Swallow was part of the 1960 Paul Bley trio and, with Bley, was an avant-garde version the Jimmy Giuffre 3 from 1960-1962. Swallow recorded with George Russell, was part of Art Farmer’s quartet (1962-1965), Stan Getz’s band (1965-1967) and an important edition Gary Burton’s quartet (1967-1970). This latter group, which included Larry Coryell as a guitarist, was one of the first to fusion. Swallow started playing electric bass during this time. He stopped playing acoustic in a few years. Swallow lived in California for a few years during the early 1970s, where he mostly played locally. He was closely associated with Carla Bley’s groups after the late 1970s, but he also occasionally works on other projects, including a reunion of The Jimmy Giuffre 3. He is also a skilled composer, with his best-known pieces being “Eiderdown,” Failing Grace,” General Mojo’s Well Laid Plan,” “Hotel Hello,” and “Falling Grace”. The 21st Century saw several Swallow sets released, including Damaged in Transit (2003) and Histoire Du Clochard : The Bum’s Tale (2004). Also, there was an interesting set with Robert Creeley, called So There (2006). All music

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