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This CD by electric bassist Steve Swallow is a major surprise, for his ten originals are essentially bebop, often using chord changes that sound familiar; for example, the opening "Running in the Family" uses the chords of "Basin Street Blues." The song titles tend to be humorous if inscrutable (including "Another Fine Mess," "I Think My Wife Is a Hat," and "Name That Tune"), but the spirited playing is quite serious. Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter (on his way to becoming one of the greats) and trumpeter Ryan Kisor have plenty of solo space, guitarist Mick Goodrick makes his presence felt, and drummer Adam Nussbaum offers stimulating support. This rare straight-ahead outing by Steve Swallow sounds fresh, lively, and creative, and it is one of his most rewarding recordings as a leader.
Born: 29 November 1955 in New York, NY
Years Active: '90s