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Pointless Beauty – After & Before


 
“a wonderful album, full of surprises, beautifully played and arranged. Original and well thought through this surely deserves wide recognition”
– Claire Martin OBE
“An amazing album… A joyous and melodic collection of original pieces, and I do mean original!”
Ant Law
“A beautiful CD…Seven titles superbly played by five consummate musicians…A wonderful album”
– Keith and Julie Tippett
 

“The wonderful new album from bassist and composer Al Swainger’s Pointless Beauty. With seemingly unintentional ease it avoids any fitting neatly into any one genre whilst expressing snippets of many. As such it is perhaps more akin to a collection of sonic stories than a traditional jazz or pop album. Pure, unpretentious and cinematic it expresses itself with depth and feeling whilst demonstrating the musical integrity (and indulgence) of a skilful musician enjoying both the labours of his past alongside his enlightened future.” – Alain Cook


 
“Lovely combination of really great playing, composition and sonic adventure”
John Parricelli
“Atmospheric and varied… A confident and colourful album”
– Theo Travis
 

Reviews : 

“An atmospheric and varied but melodic set of contemporary tracks. Beautiful compositions and some particularly strong soloing from guitar supremo Mike Outram and trumpeter Neil Yates as well as the leader on bass. From the textural soundscapes of ‘The Rockpool’ to the atmospheric ballad ‘Time Considered’ to the chilled out grooves on ‘Cyrano’, a confident and colourful album by excellent bassist and composer Al Swainger.“ – Theo Travis.

“What an amazing album. It’s a joyous and melodic collection of original pieces, and I do mean original! The compositions are adventurous and bold, so are the textures and instrumentation. The guitar playing is great (obviously), and there is some lovely improvisation from Al and the others. There is LOTS to dig here!” – Ant Law


Track listing : Too Late / Sonhos Estranhos / Spring Cleaning
The Rockpool / Time Considered / Cyrano / After & Before

All compositions & arrangements Al Swainger

Neil Yates – Trumpet & Flugel / Mike Outram – Guitar
George Cooper – Keyboards / Mark Whitlam – Drums
Al Swainger – Bass, Keys, Vocal FX & Programming

Recorded & Engineered by Duncan Chave at Sound Gallery
Mixed by Alex Killpartrick (Snowpoet / Laura Jurd / Kit Downes)
Mastered by Mandy Parnell (Bjork / Sigur Ros / Kurt Rosenwinkel)
Produced by Al Swainger Additional production Alex Killpartrick
Original photography, artwork & sleeve design Al Swainger


 
More listener reviews :
 
You captured humour, melancholy, happy… so much emotion. And imagery! Rockpool! Amazing. Loved Spring Cleaning, After and Before.. poignant for me heading back to Devon from Bristol. I really enjoyed it all.” – Becky Brine
 
“That’s the very cool thing-I wasn’t sure what to expect. I love it. It’s like a vivid and evocative journey where the listener is absolutely present alongside this unpredictable and fabulous music. The moods vary between strong and colourful, to distant and vulnerable with everything else weaving in between that spectrum. “ – Rachel Strange

“What a beautiful mix of sonics and styles that ties together really well. Beautiful playing and writing and love the production and mix” – Chris Nickolls

“I’ve gone through all the tracks and came to one conclusion ! I love it, all of it. Well written, well played and I like the dreamy quality of the production.” – Paul Tongs

“This is a truly amazing new album – mind blowingly good” – Laura Wright

Before I fall asleep I am in that space between sleeping and awake. There is a dreamspace in-between but its not in deep sleep. I’m floating high…and travelling over the different countries, I can hear tones of their music in the distance, Spain…Mali…..then the resonance has made me go beyond the atmosphere, I didn’t realise it until I opened my eyes and found myself in space! Now the sounds of the earth and the space around it…intermingles and I become one with the sound.” – Evie Em-jay

Transports you like a prog concept album, though it’s not prog. Creates a dreamlike state, where focus is suddenly brought back by the high caliber of playing, composition and great solos. Moody yet light and joyous at times. – Jesse Molins

“… feeling like leaving a remark to the After&Before album which I gladly have in my collection. I don´t know what it is but I find myself very often returning to listening to track 07 “After&Before” in loop mode, mostly at late eve/night time. Somehow the beauty is that I find a deeply satisfying emotional depression – if this exists at all – when listening to especially Mike´s soloparts and I very much like the reverb-clad piano upfront, too … never diminishing your bass playing at any time, of course. You have made a pre-release teaser of this track with some street and rain noises which got me completely and I still love that version, too. This is a beautiful track and I absolutely “feel” and very much like it. So very warm and yet quiet. Just wanted to let you know … I appreciate the whole album with the surprise of the title track being a real gem for me.” – Nils Maier

“Finally I come to put fingers to keys!! to comment on your wonderful album “Pointless Beauty” each musician creating his own masterpiece somewhere along the line. My favourite track I think was 2, (Sonhos Estranhos), but then I loved them all in their own ways. I am no musical expert but especially I just loved the beautiful jazz guitar, and the wonderful mellow tones and moods of the trumpet that just gave me shivers and took my breath away. The whole album just transported me to a beautiful place. There was nothing pointless about it. It was truly beautiful. Well done Al on your amazing creation, it’s something very special . XX” – Rhiannon Tree


 
Pointless Beauty - After & Before
Digital Download, CD (Standard Edition) or 2CD (Ltd Edition)

Ltd Edition features the standard edition of the album plus a second disc containing the bonus track 'Let the Blood Run Free', an alternate version of 'The Rockpool' and original mixes of all six other tracks.
 
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