Duncan Swift: The Broadwood Concert


Catalogue number BEARCD34

Listeners to this album, recorded live at The Grand Hotel, Birmingham on July 10th 1990 during the Birmingham International Jazz Festival will find the range of reference as exhaustive and challenging as ever. As well as a a liberal sprinkling of Swift originals, Duncan pays homage Earl Hines, James P, Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton, revives some second hand Rachmaninov and cavorts with the peasants of Eastern Europe.

So can we call Duncan Swift a stride pianist? Duncan himself, addressing the question with due seriousness, claims that stride is unarguably the main stream of jazz piano, right to the present day. If that seems something of a catch-all argument, nobody will dispute his assertion that, in their own ways, Jelly Roll Morton and Thelonious Monk were stride pianists. If, as Duncan asserts “the only jazz piano which is not stride is that which has no left hand part of any significance”, then this is beyond doubt an album of stride piano. Percussive, witty, melodically inventive, capable of the most surprising twists and most disarming contrasts, Duncan’s playing employs a minimum of two hands at all times. The result is a session that suggests the exhilaration of the Big Dipper far more than the usual ambience of the cocktail bar.

Ron Simpson

Track Listing

  1. Frog-I-More
  2. Ostrich Walk
  3. Sweet Lorraine
  4. Man Overboard
  5. Creole Belles
  6. The Very Thought Of You
  7. Like Someone In Love
  8. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
  9. The Digah’s Stomp
  10. One Night In Trinidad
  11. Nettlebed Stomp
  12. Tell Me Why I’m Feeling Blue
  13. The Merry Peasant
  14. Russian Rag
  15. Cry Me A River
  16. Striding After Fats
  17. Guitar Shuffle
  18. You Can’t Lose A  Broken Heart
  19. Ain’t Cha Glad?