You can read 19 more articles this month
Steve Swell Quartet
The Vortex, London
IF FREE, improvising trombonism is the sonics of outrageous breath, the shivering slide work of Steve Swell that opens his quartet's gig at the Vortex is its epitome.
With the open-spirited US hornman are three powerful British musicians. The artist on drums is Mark Sanders, the arch-bassist John Edwards and pianist the protean Liam Noble. Free musical spirits indeed.
Edwards saws at his bass with the phenomenal energy of a jazz lumberjack and plucks his strings with a powerful resonance next to the endless inventive subtlety of Sanders's percussion, his sticks, brushes and mallets caressing and striking all the surfaces of his drum set and other nearby objects.
Watching his aural interplay is as compelling as listening to his timbral formulations and adventures in sound.
As for Swell, his browbeaten trombone holds a whole century of jazz history in its slides. His harsh, raw notes sometimes seem as if they're parading or protruding from a New Orleans tailgate. At others, it's as if he were kissing down his mouthpiece, blowing US love all over east London.
Noble plays a beautifully quiet and very slow sequence during the first long piece, as if he were creating melody itself, while Swell breathily guffaws, Sanders's cymbals ring and tinkle and Edwards's bow whines like the snow whirling in the wind outside.
It was that kind of living, breathing session.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.