“...there is major-league musicianship present in abundance.”
A unique collection of music from a remarkable ensemble, 2008 Gil Evans Fellowship winner Wil Swindler presents his "Elevenet," featuring some less traditional sounds (bass clarinet, alto flute, euphonium and French horn) to augment the more traditional horn and rhythm sections. With the power of a big band and the intimacy of a jazz quartet, or even a classical chamber ensemble, Swindler masterfully combines the possibilities for a recording of compelling art-music that is somehow honestly fun!
1 Universe B 4:52
2 She's Too Conflicted 7:44
3 The Equestrian Pedestrian 10:39
4 Miles Ahead 3:47
5 Glass 11:20
6 A Flower is a Lovesome Thing 7:33
7 Wowbagger 6:50
8 Blue Jay Way 12:10
Produced by Wil Swindler
Session produced by Stephen Smith
Recorded by Mario Casilio at
Notably Fine Audio, Denver, CO
March 11-12, 2010
Mixed by Wil Swindler and Colin Bricker
at Notably Fine Audio, Denver, CO
Mastered by Phil Bulla at
Platinum Productions, Monroe, NY
Cover photograph by April Johannesen
Live photography by Ian Hutchison
Design and layout by John Bishop
- alto/soprano saxophones
- tenor saxophone (1,3-8)
- tenor saxophone (2)
- bass clarinet/clarinet
- alto flute/flute
- trumpet (2*,4-7*)
- trumpet/fluegelhorn (1*,3*,7,8*)
- trumpet/fluegelhorn (1-6,8)
- trombone (1-6,8)
- euphonium (7)
- French horn
- acoustic bass
Jazz Society of Oregon
I'd think this type of ensemble would be a huge kick for all the players. Imagine you're a well-schooled reader and sit down in your section to play charts with a Gil Evans kind of vapor. That's what Swindler has here. The only musician with whom I'm familiar is the startlingly good trumpet/flugelhorn player, Al Hood. He's from Denver, so I assume this is a Mile High City aggregation. The original music touches on all musical corners. Sometimes quirky and offbeat; sometimes lyrical and delicate;...
Jazz Society of Oregon
Saxophonist/composer Swindler's band isn't quite a big band ... call it a medium band. But its eleven members create a wall of sound, with the added textures of bass clarinet, alto flute, euphonium and French horn to make it interesting. From the get-go Swindler, the 2008 Gil Evans Fellowship winner, sets up the band as his tool for delivering smart compositions and arrangements. "Universe B" is a smokin' modern bopper with enough chord changes to challenge any soloist, though tenor saxophonist ...
Wil Swindler has produced a new CD, [Universe B], filled with sophisticated and beautiful small-big band music. I was knocked out by both the playing and, in particular, the writing. Although the music remains tonal throughout, the harmonic language is intriguingly complex while remaining utterly accessible. Swindler's writing evokes Gil Evans, with its use of unconventional instruments such as the French horn and euphonium as well as the use of cluster type voicings. Indeed, one such p...
Amid the dreck that arrives in the mail for our perusal there are occasional gems of such polished beauty that they demand acknowledgement, especially if they are by artists deserving of more recognition. Such is the case with Universe B, by Wil Swindler's Elevenet. Not exactly a household word, the Elevenet hearkens back to the days of Birth of the Cool and the collaborations of trumpeter Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans.
Like Evans, Swindler has assembled a gifte...
All Music Guide
Wil Swindler, fresh off of a Gil Evans Fellowship endorsement, began putting together new pieces for his Elevenet in 2008. The key to the ensemble is the mix of fresh (and classic jazz-inspired) compositions with an interesting set of instruments. Rather than only using the standard horns, guitars, and such, Swindler invokes less common jazz sounds (indeed, many of those used by Gil Evans in his ensembles): French horn, bass clarinet, flute. Even a stray euphonium. The off-kilter instrument timb...