If Steve Swallow
is known primarily as an ace session bassist, it's not because his compositions are less than top-notch. This program finds him showing off his considerable writing chops with the help of an all-star group: trumpeter Tom Harrell
, saxophonist Joe Lovano
, pianist Mulgrew Miller
and drummer Jack DeJohnette
. His focus on the upper registers and the polyester tone of his five-string bass guitar will continue to annoy those who prefer to hear the bass played dark, low and woody, but there's no denying the consistent inventiveness of his playing or the charm of these compositions.