Title:            The Center Will Hold featuring Andrew Cyrille

 By:               Steve Swell

​ Released:     2020

 Format:        CD

 Catalog No:  MW 1006-2

 Price :           12 EUR

Tracklist:

 

1.  Celestial Navigation - 6:48

2.  The Center Will Hold - 12:09

3.  Mikrokosmos II - 7:05

4.  Laugh So You Don’t Cry - 8:02

5.  Robo Call - 9:28

6.  Spontaneous Protocols - 7:50 

Line-up:

Steve Swell -  trombone, compositions

Jason Kao Hwang -  violin, viola, electronics

Ariel Bart - harmonica

Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello, electronics

Robert Boston - piano, organ

Andrew Cyrille - drums, percussion

Recorded:

September 13, 2019

What the critics say:

Aside from being one of the best, most crafty of all Creative Music trombonists, Steve Swell, has been evolving as a strong, diverse composer and band-leader over the past decade plus of his long career. After an amazing big band disc & DVD (recorded in 2008), Not Two released a fabulous 2 CD set called ‘Kanreki’ (2015) which featured more than a dozen great improvisers from around the world. Since then Mr. Swell organized a couple of ongoing quintets & sextets, each release inspired by a different composer (Bartok & Messiaen) or structural strategy. Mr. Swell’s current sextet features a few holdovers from his previous sextets: Jason Hwang & Robert Boston plus occasional improv pal: Fred Lonberg-Holm. The two newest members include the legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille and Ariel Bart on harmonica, who is a new name for me. I grew up around the corner from a great blues harp (harmonica player) named Rob Paparozzi in Linden, NJ and have long loved great harmonica musicians (Howard Levy, Paul Butterfield & a million of those blues legends).
   “Celestial Navigation” kicks things off with a solid trombone, violin & harp frontline, certainly a unique combination. The rhythm team of cello, piano/organ & drums provides a tight, explosive undertow. The title track has a tasty theme that is played tightly by the violin & harmonica with some shrewd back & forth action from the boisterous trombone. This piece also features a fine solo drum section and explosive violin solo from the ever-amazing Jason Hwang! “Mikrokosmos II” might be inspired by the Bels Bartok piece of the same name and features more harmonica & string(s) interaction. “Laugh So You Don’t Cry”, starts with some spirited violin & piano interplay before the trombone takes off soaring with the cello and drums glued tightly together underneath. I love the way the harmonica and trombone sound together on “Robo Call”, the harmonic blend is splendid. The trombone solo by Mr. Swell & harp solo by Mr. Bart is like icing on the cake, tasty as hell! The cherry on top is the final string solo by Mr. Hwang who adds some wah wah and makes things even more special indeed. Steve Swell has organized a righteous sextet as well as all engaging and uplifting music to bring things to a great conclusion. This disc does make me smile. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG          

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