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Swingmatism (Schroder Originals & More)

by Ken Schroder

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Nice One 06:51
Joy Swing 05:56
Lonely Town 08:27
Wind Chimes 05:40
Goodbye 05:49


There are 8 tunes here, 5 by Ken Schroder and 3 by more famous composers.

These tunes are Lonely Town by Leonard Bernstein, who is not the most likely composer of jazz standards but has attracted the attention of musicians like Gerry Mulligan, Bill Evans, Gil Evans and Billie Holiday to name a few, who have found his music very compatible with a jazz treatment.

Ladylike turned out to be the same tune as Two Part Contention by Dave Brubeck after doing a bit of asking around, and was probably renamed to avoid paying royalties. It's a play on words for a two part invention a la J.S. Bach but of course, the bass and drums are brought in to make it "go" as a jazz vehicle.

Goodbye is by Gordon Jenkins, written originally for Benny Goodman, who used it as a farewell theme for his big band in the 1930s, but has been used by others for the same purpose, notably by Charlie Parker in a rare recording with a Chicago band led by Claude McLin where they schmaltz it up beautifully. We like it too.

The Schroder originals begin with Three Part Contention, following on the same idea of Dave Brubeck, and adding the drums of Liam to add flavour. Joy Swing (originally "Up the Creek") is a nod to Clifford Brown who wrote and recorded the memorable tune Joy Spring. I wanted to write a happy song so it eventually acquired a happy name as well.

Nice One is written over the same chords as Gershwin's Nice Work If You Can Get It and is 33 bars long, one more than is usual or sometimes comfortable. It is played as a pseudo bossa nova.

That Sinking Feeling had an earlier working title "Feelin' a Bit Crook" which I was a bit at the time, but I didn't want to be an attention seeker and I am often reminded that other people have problems of their own and are not particularly interested in mine so I needed to find something else. Of course we've all had to respond to Covid 19 and it hasn't been the easiest of times so I thought that I'd be a little vague so as to cover all bases. You could be sinking like falling in love and thinking "how will this endr or perhaps your bank balance is sinking and so on, fill it in for yourself. i'm sure something rotten has happened to you recently as long as you always remember to look on the bright side of life, you'll be ok. The tune even gets a little optimistic in the middle but it's all the way down at the end.

Wind Chimes was written over 30 years ago and draws its inspiration from Django Reinhardt's tune "Brick Top" in that in a late version he uses harmonics to play some, but not all of the tune. I wrote it when working with Andy Baylor in "Swing 86", a little trio that played in Melbourne at a regular gig at the Lord Newry hotel in North Fitzroy, the band having been born with a gig to write Django like tunes for use in the John Clark/Andrew Knight collaboration "The Fast Lane" on ABC TV at that time as well as the Book Show with the scarcely sober Dinny O'Hearn as host. We decided to write all our own repertoire rather than just repeat Django's work although we may have played "Nuages" once or twice.

Most of my musical life has been spent in Melbourne, London and Hamburg (the latter being short but eventful) but it's been wonderful to find simpatico musicians in Hobart where I presently reside,

Ken Schroder


released April 21, 2022

Ken Schroder - Clarinet (1, 2, 4, 6, 7) & Baritone Sax (3, 5, 8)
Aaron Entresz - Guitar
Isaac Gee - Double Bass
Liam O’Leary - Drums

Recorded 3 January 2022 at Chapel studio, Austin’s Ferry, Tasmania
Recording and Mixing - Al Campbell
Mastering - James Clark

Photograph at Recording Session - Al Campbell
Cover Design - Spear Creative


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Ken Schroder Melbourne, Australia

"One of Melbourne’s treasures" Leon Gettler, The Age Newspaper.

Ken Schroder, reedman, composer and arranger is based in Melbourne, Australia and performs with Schroder's Big Band as well as smaller groups in Victoria and Tasmania.

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