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Neil Swainson - 49th Parallel

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Release date July 10:

Product Description

Originally released in 1988, this extremely rare recording returns to the market for the first time in over 10 years. 

The debut album from one of Canada's most important bassists, Neil Swainson who has played with George Shearing, Diana Krall and countless others.

Features tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson & trumpeter Woody Shaw and includes a previously unreleased track. 

Includes previously unreleased track featuring Woody Shaw.

Woody Shaw's last ever studio recording.

Features new liner notes by Phil Dwyer, interviews and rare photographs!

Review

Bassist Neil Swainson is known more as an accompanist (most notably with George Shearing) than as a bandleader, and this was his first opportunity to head his own recording date. Swainson was able to secure the services of both trumpeter Woody Shaw (on his final studio session just two years before his death) and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, in addition to a couple of Toronto-based musicians: pianist Gary Williamson and drummer Jerry Fuller. Swainson, who has long had impressive technique and a beautiful tone, performs five of his originals, plus Henderson's ''Homestretch.'' Overall, this is an underrated, high-quality advanced hard bop date worth exploring.

Scott Yanow --AllMusic Review

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What's the bonus track?

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It's called Labyrinth.

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Interesting ....

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Fairly unlikely to buy again for one bonus track, but I suppose you never know.  It is a nice album for sure!

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Pretty good album! I swear I used to have it on CD, but don’t seem to have it any more. So slightly tempted to buy it again, but we’ll have to see.

 

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Great CD but I didn't realize it was "rare". Concord released this originally. Is Reel to Real a new Concord label?

Doing a Google search, I see that Real to Reel is a new Zev Feldman label. So is Concord licensing stuff now? Interesting.

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It's a fine recording. Woody Shaw is excellent on it. What's more amazing is that he likely would have had to learn the originals by ear only. I have it on cassette(!) so will likely buy this CD.  

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I have not listened to it in ages. I remember it being a decent date. Shaw excellent, Henderson OK.

My go-to Shaw / Swainson album is Woody Shaw's "In My Own Sweet Way", my favorite Woody Shaw.   

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29 minutes ago, Д.Д. said:

My go-to Shaw / Swainson album is Woody Shaw's "In My Own Sweet Way", my favorite Woody Shaw.   

Yep ....

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, bresna said:

I see that Real to Reel is a new Zev Feldman label.

Seeing as how my old CD of this is gonesville to parts unknown, and how this is something Zev was involved in that specifically has Joe Henderson (and/or Woody Shaw) on it - I think I’ll probably get a copy, in the hopes more rare Joe and/or Woody material surfaces via Zev’s various channels in the future.

Nothing I’d like more than some rare (worthy) previously unreleased Joe. Or even with all the great new Woody Shaw we’ve seen in the last year or two, more Woody wouldn’t be a bad thing either (especially if anything else surfaces from the 60’s).

17 hours ago, soulpope said:

Yep ....

Yeah, “In My Own Sweet Way” is some pretty serious top-tier Woody Shaw, in my book. 👍

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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On 4/20/2020 at 0:39 PM, bresna said:

Great CD but I didn't realize it was "rare". Concord released this originally. Is Reel to Real a new Concord label?

Doing a Google search, I see that Real to Reel is a new Zev Feldman label. So is Concord licensing stuff now? Interesting.

Actually, this is a label run by Cory Weeds, a sax player who has been presenting jazz in Vancouver for years. I believe he has a label called Cellar Live that has recorded many CDs over the past few years and Reel to Real is the archival wing I guess. Yes, Zev Feldman is involved with getting the live recordings he is releasing but I'm pretty certain the label is Cory's and he deserves the credit. 

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15 hours ago, david weiss said:

Actually, this is a label run by Cory Weeds, a sax player who has been presenting jazz in Vancouver for years. I believe he has a label called Cellar Live that has recorded many CDs over the past few years and Reel to Real is the archival wing I guess. Yes, Zev Feldman is involved with getting the live recordings he is releasing but I'm pretty certain the label is Cory's and he deserves the credit. 

Indeed. Cory deserves a lot of props. :tup:tup Fine saxophonist, too. 

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I remember when we flew to St. Louis with friends to hear George Shearing and Neil Swainson at Just Jazz. When I brought out my copy of 49th Parallel for him to autograph, he quipped, "Oh, so you're the one who bought it..." Glad to hear of the reissue.

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12 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

I remember when we flew to St. Louis with friends to hear George Shearing and Neil Swainson at Just Jazz. When I brought out my copy of 49th Parallel for him to autograph, he quipped, "Oh, so you're the one who bought it..." Glad to hear of the reissue.

I can't tell how many musicians have said that to me. :)

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I think I mentioned how surprised Mr. Swainson was when I brought him the CD to sign.  Though this was only a year or two ago, and the CD had been OOP for some time.

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Is Labyrinth a Swainson composition?

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Posted (edited)

Just stumbled on my older copy of the Swainson Quintet CD (mine is on Sound-Service/Bellaphon, out of Europe).  In any case I knew I had a copy at one point, and I’m glad to have a copy already (and not be tempted to repurchase it).

Listening to it now. Nothing revelatory, but a pretty solid and very straight-ahead date.

Says Woody is on trumpet throughout, but some of his playing is so smooth you might mistake it for a flugel. And considering this was Woody’s very last studio date, he sounds remarkably good (considering).

A very nice, if not quite ‘fiery’ date. Sounds very much like a “Concord date” too, I might add. Not that I can articulate exactly what I mean by that — other than having it on now I’m suddenly reminded of some other similar Concord dates I’ve had over the years.

One that just came to mind was Allen Farnham’s 5th House (Concord, 1989) - which I haven’t heard in well over 15 years.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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I had Neil Swainson autograph my US CD of 49th Parallel when we saw him with George Shearing. He immediately quipped the old comeback, "Oh, so you're the one who bought it!"

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Posted (edited)

I bought a copy of the vinyl of this at the weekend. Excellent reissue - the Concord sound was always good but the Toronto crew’s remastering have brought out additional richness in the sonics, to my ears. Some good sleeve notes too, with reminiscences from Neil Swainson and others plus some new photographs. Apparently Joe H. arrived late and missed the first day of the recordings.

Yes, this is a Cory Weeds-led label out of BC putting this out. I think the remastering team also did the Mosaic Paul Desmond.

Edited by sidewinder

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Useful review from London Jazz News here - 

https://londonjazznews.com/2020/08/31/neil-swainson-quintet-49th-parallel/

The new sleeve notes by Neil S. in interview with Cory Weeds and by Phil Dwyer are fascinating. Essentially a private project when it was recorded, Concord only issued it after Swainson joined George Shearing’s touring group. The notes mention that it appeared in Canada as a US import and didn’t even get nominated for a Juno. I remember buying it from Sam’s in Toronto as one of those very imports. Also remember hearing at least one track from it on the local radio around that time - maybe Ted O’Reilly’s programme?

Neil’s comments confirm that it sold ‘fairly well’ at the time.

Great reissue !

Edited by sidewinder

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Little mini-doc about the album...

 

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This is not Woody's last session.

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On 1/9/2020 at 0:03 AM, bertrand said:

This is not Woody's last session.

There’s “Imagination” on Muse from a few months later, right?

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I streamed it on Amazon-sounds good compressed always a good sign. Woody in good form here. On the purchase list. 

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