By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Ullmann/Swell 4 will present a jazz concert Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 8:30 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's ongoing Jazz at Bucknell First Wednesday Series.
The Ullmann/Swell 4 includes Gebhard Ullman, tenor sax and bass clarinet; Steve Swell, trombone; Hill Greene, bass; and Barry Altschul, percussion.
Founded in 2004, the quartet has toured the United States, Canada and Europe, performing at the 2008 Vision Festival in New York City. Two new CDs were released in 2012: "News? No News!" and "Live in Montreal."
Ullmann has recorded more than 20 CDs as a leader including 'tá lam,' nominated best jazz CD of the year by the German Schallplattenkritik. He has received numerous awards including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award (1999), the Deutsche Phonoakademie award (1983), one of the first SWF (German radio) jazz awards (1987), multiple awards from the city of Berlin. He continues to extensively tour his music in Europe as well as leading tours throughout Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, South East Asia, Canada, and Mexico.
Swell, who studied trombone in the mid-'70s with Roswell Rudd, moved into professional music life in New York City, playing with Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich before joining Jemeel Moondoc's Jus Grew Orchestra in 1984. He has performed with numerous outstanding artists such as Tim Berne, Joey Barron, Elliot Sharp, Butch Morris, and William Parker. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" was ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. Twice nominated for Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, he was selected Trombonist of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010 by El Intruso magazine of Argentina, and selected for the trombone category in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll. He is a teaching artist in the New York City public school system working with special needs children.
Greene has performed and recorded with Jimmy Scott as his musical director, as well as with Cecil Taylor as concert master for his group "Phtongos." He also has worked with Gloria Lynne, Jacky Terrasson, The Inkspots, Rashied Ali, Leroy Jenkins, Jimmy Ponder, Eddie Gladden, Vanessa Rubin, Yoron Israel, Cindy Blackman, Electric Symphony, Charles Gayle, Jack Walrath, Don Pullen, Dave Douglas, Bobby Watson, Greg Osby, Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Carla Cook, Josh Roseman, John Hicks, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Oscar Brown Jr. and The Jazz Expressions.
Altschul is widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in improvised music. In the early '70s, he was the drummer for Circle, the innovative and influential band which included Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Anthony Braxton. He played regularly with pianist Paul Bley and was a member of the Jazz Composer's Guild and the Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association from 1964-68. In '72, under bassist Dave Holland's leadership, Altschul recorded the classic album "Conference of the Birds," with Anthony Braxton and saxophonist Sam Rivers. Around this time, he also made new recordings with Paul Bley, bassist Alan Silva, and pianist Andrew Hill.
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