Steve Swallow

I first met Steve when I recorded Carla Bley's Grammy nominated arrangement of "Misterioso" for Hal Willner's "That's the Way I Feel Now" Thelonious Monk tribute album at Mediasound Studios in NYC. 

They asked me to record their next two projects. One led by Carla, and one led by Steve. It was to be the same band on both projects. Hiram Bullock on guitar, Larry Willis on piano, Don Alias on percussion, and Victor Lewis on drums. Carla played Hammond organ, and Steve played bass.

Here you can clearly hear why Steve is considered such an innovator on his instrument. Using a metal pick, he plays multi-tracked harmonic ostinatos way up on the neck. These projects were recorded up near Woodstock, NY at Grog Kill Studio, Carla's "home studio". "Home", only because they actually lived upstairs. The fully equipped 24 track facility with a Bosendopher piano, and a world class arsenal of mics, had sliding glass doors that overlooked a ravine with a gurgling brook running through it. It never fails that I recall the sunlight—filtered through the bare, late winter trees—pouring into the control room, as we listened back to the final mixes.

Doug Epstein