Swunk — Soundscapes
(Italy Sound Labs, 2017, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-01-28
Neapolitan quartet Swunk has released their second album on Italy Sound Lab. Their name can take on several meainings. From Old English, it means hard work, and it also is the conjunction of swing, funk, and fusion. No matter how you think of their name, the meaning is apropos of the eight instrumental tracks on Soundscapes. The first three tracks “Standing on the Shoulders of the Giant,” “Savmarine,” and “Preambolo Primaverile,” are gritty jazz funk fusion tunes with Saverio Giugliano’s skillful saxophone riffing front and center. It is not until we reach the fourth track, “Solaium,” that the music gets very interesting. This track starts out with a funky staccato guitar and saxophone riff and then turns dark and sinister with some fuzzy synths. Towards the end, energetic synths and Antonio Cece’s dissonant improvised guitar take over for the best track on the disc. Another interesting track is “118” with its dark progressive atmosphere, becoming quite catchy as you move through the piece. “Ore 22:00,” which I believe is 10 PM in Italian, is a laid back late night walk through an urban landscape with some cavernous sax. And the final two tracks, “Buddha” and “Travel,” revert back to the R&B funky jazz fusion of the first three tracks. Soundscapes may not exactly fit in with our Exposé readership, but there are moments of brilliance worth investigating.
Related artist(s): Swunk
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more