Birthplace: New York City
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Jazz Musician
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Prolific jazz bassist
Condemned to spend his teen years in a New England private school, Steve Swallow made his first ventures into improvisational jazz with classmate (and future saxophonist for The Mothers of Invention) Ian Underwood. He went on to study composition at Yale until meeting Paul and Carla Bley in 1960, after which he moved to New York City and began a dizzying number of collaborations and group involvements with other musicians in the New york jazz scene.
In 1968, after two years with The Art Farmer Quartet, Swallow joined a quartet led by Gary Burton, beginning a musical relationship which was to continue up through Burton's 1992 release Six Pack. In 1970, he made a change from acoustic upright to electric bass guitar, as well as making a more temporary change from East to West Coast. A series of records for ECM, a period teaching at the Berklee College of Music, and his usual plentiful-like-grains-of-sand-on-the-beach musical collaborations continued through the 70s and 80s.
Initiating the second of his long-term band involvements, in 1978 Steve Swallow joined The Carla Bley Band. The pair have worked together ever since, touring throughout the 80s, 90s and 00s in contexts ranging from duo to big band and including everything in-between. Solo projects have continued throughout, in addition to work with Pat Metheny, Karen Mantler, and many others.
Girlfriend: Carla Bley (musician)
The Carla Bley Band Bassist 1978-present
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