When the time came to record again, Swainson wanted to make sure he had everything right, from the compositions (he wrote and arranged every number) to the sidemen: trumpeter Brad Turner and tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson on the front line, pianist Renee Rosnes and drummer Lewis Nash blending with Swainson to comprise the quintet's blue-chip rhythm section. If there are any seams in that garment, they are imperceptible to the eye and inaudible to the ear.
Turner and Jefferson are impressive soloists, as is the always-enchanting Rosnes, while Swainson and Nash have their shining moments as well. As for Swainson's charts, they are post-bop archetypes, giving everyone a broad range of material on which to focus. Tempos are generally moderate to medium with three notable exceptions: the nimble opener, "Fire in the West," the lighthearted "Cascades" and fast-paced finale, "Silver Mine" (dedicated to the legendary hard-bop pianist Horace Silver). Needless to say, the rhythm section is sharp at any tempo, while Turner and Jefferson are never at a loss for a felicitous phrase or two.
To suggest that 35 years between recordings is a touch too long would be an understatement. On the other hand, Swainson's second go-round as leader is so perceptive and pleasing that it was almost worth the wait.
Fire In The West; Fool's Gold; Cascades; Standing Back; Fell Among Thieves; Kyushu; Late
Afternoon; Near North; Gone Away; Silver Mine
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.