In 2018, Steve Swell attended a performance of Tom Rainey‘s in Paris and discussed the possibility of doing an improvised duo together at some point. On this evening, Roulette is pleased to present the first time the trombonist and percussionist meet in an improvised duo setting.
Steve Swell – Trombone
Tom Rainey – Drums/Percussion
Steve Swell has been active in the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to progressive artists like Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Dave Burrell, Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, Ken Vandermark, Gebhard Ullmann, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Dunmall, Matt Shipp, Rob Brown, Bernard Purdie and many others. Steve conducts workshops worldwide and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system. Steve worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow Steve Feld in 2000, received a grant from USArtists International in 2006, an MCAF (LMCC) award in 2008 and 2013. In 2014 he received a Creative Curricula grant (LMCC), was nominated Trombonist of the Year 2008, 2011 & 2020 (Jazz Journalists Association), and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award (Tides Foundation) for his work in NYC public schools and has been recognized by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2018 & 2020. He was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010, 2012, 2014-2020 by the Argentinian journal El Intruso. Steve’s recording “Music for Six Musicians: Hommage à Olivier Messiaen” appeared on NPR’s top 50 list for 2018. He was also an inaugural recipient of a Jazz Road Tours (SouthArts) grant and a Creative Engagement (LMCC) grant in 2020.
Percussionist Tom Rainey was born in Los Angeles, California in 1957. Since moving to New York City in 1979 he has performed at festivals and clubs throughout North America and Europe with a wide range of artists, including John Abercrombie, Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Ted Curson, Marc Ducret, George Gruntz, David Torn, Mark Helias, Fred Hersch, Andy Laster, Joe Lovano, Carmen McRae, Mike Nock, Simon Nabatov, New and Used, Matthias Schubert, Tom Varner, WDR Big Band, Ken Werner and Denny Zeitlin. Tom Rainey received an National Endowment for the Arts grant to compose and perform a concert of music for percussion and drums featuring Dave Samuels and Arto Tuncboyaci.
Rainey’s voluminous recording credits and the artistic caliber of the musicians he’s supported would easily place him on the A-list of drummers closely identified with the New York City modern creative jazz scene roughly from the late ’80s onward. Tom Rainey recorded his debut album as a leader, “Pool School” for Cleanfeed Records in May 2010. The record also features Mary Halvorson on guitar and Ingrid Laubrock on saxophone. The trio’s follow-up album “Camino Cielo Echo” was just released on Intakt Records.