Real Book

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Steve Swallow
LABELS: Xtra Watt/7
WORKS: Real Book
PERFORMER: Tom Harrell (t), Joe Lovano (ts), Mulgrew Miller (p), Jack Dejohnette (d), Steve Swallow (b)
CATALOGUE NO: 521 637-2


‘Almost overnight it was possible when strolling the corridors of Berklee to hear credible versions of dozens of tunes that had previously been ceaselessly slaughtered. It cost about $30 and contained nearly 500 pages, making it, in my opinion, a best buy.’ Bass guitarist Steve Swallow describes the arrival at his Boston college of the Real Book, the under-the-counter sheet music book which has become the jazzer’s best friend. In Real Book, the album, Swallow has recreated the feeling of a few friends working out tunes picked from a battered book to see where they lead. These are no ordinary friends and the ten crisp tunes, all Swallow’s own, are contenders for the next edition. The recording was made over two days in his basement with no rehearsal and few takes. The result — five technically superb, imaginative and generous musicians having fun — is uplifting, quintessential modern jazz. Garry Booth