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Album Review

Europeans Hans Ulrik and drummer Jonas Johansen joined forces with veteran bassist Steve Swallow to produce Tin Pan Aliens. They mesh easily with one another, bringing out the best in one another's compositions. Swallow, who has written a number of songs that have been recorded by other musicians, contributed the gentle waltz "Willow" and the turbocharged "Euripedes' Pants," the latter highlighted by Ulrik's most impassioned playing of the date. Ulrik's frenetic bop vehicle "Beeps" is a fairly standard reworking of "I Got Rhythm" changes and "Beams" is a lyrical ballad. Johansen composed "Mosse," which is set up in waltz time and features the drummer, along with the catchy calypso "It Will All Get Better," which showcases the bassist extensively. This is an enjoyable disc that never falls into a predictable pattern.


Genre: Jazz

Steve Swallow has long been many jazz critics' favorite electric bassist: rather than playing his instrument in a rock-oriented manner, Swallow emphasizes the high notes and, to an extent, approaches the electric bass as if it were a guitar. He originally started on piano and trumpet before settling on the acoustic bass as a teenager. Swallow joined the Paul Bley trio in 1960 and with Bley was part of an avant-garde version of the Jimmy Giuffre 3 during 1960-1962. Swallow recorded with George Russell...
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Tin Pan Aliens, Hans Ulrik, Steve Swallow, Jonas Johansen
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