"Musically ambitious, adventurous and imaginative...played with style and panache" - Theo Travis (Soft Machine)
"Swainger has a knack for writing catchy melodies with great rhythmic hooks...blown away...highly recommended"
- Nick Lea (Jazz Views)
"An eclectic range of jazz styles...musically adventurous..."
- London Jazz News
"...easeful interplay...gentle strengths and spiritual uplift. What's not to like?"
- Andy Robson (Jazzwise)
"The loss of the minutest detail would be a flaw... a parcel of gizmo goodness" - Nigel Jarrett (Jazz Journal)
"Musically complex and exhilarating with an undertone of melancholy." - Chloe Mogg (Clout)
"Lush and laid-back...sweeps over you in bright refreshing waves"
- The Musician
"Joyous...An alluring soundscape that transcends its influences"
- Roger Beaujolais
"Funky, elegant & innovative...instrumental sorcery" - Illustrate Magazine
"A beautiful collection of musical delights. Blissful listening!"
- Chris Hyson (Snowpoet)
"A compelling mix of melodic solos, tasteful accompaniment with enough danger and unpredictably to demand repeated listens."
- Rob Palmer (Soundcellar)
"Emotionally impactful... manages to tell a story without a single word being uttered" - Simon Lucas-Hughes (Backseat Mafia)
"Complex and multifaceted, the bands fascinating sound brings together elements of electronic, chill out and jazz in a brilliant soundscape built for listening with your eyes shut, headphones on and a drink in hand." - IhouseU
"A unique combination of Jazz, Electronica, Prog and Chillout" - Pattyto
"Multidimensional musicality...as easy to imagine at Ronnie Scott's as on a Ministry of Sound Chillout compilation" - Turtletempo
"A beautiful album graced by rumination and reflection...an album that expresses the survival of being creative as a soothing and uplifting musical manifestation" Mike Ferguson (Some Diurnal Awe)
"Music for the soul...pure, perfect, and exquisite. It feels and sounds like high art, but not in a way that’s pretentious or offbeat, just in the sheer immaculateness of its conception." - Kartik Sundar (Find No Enemy)
Links to reviews
Links to interviews
Volatile Weekly (with Jarod Smith)
Theo Travis (Soft Machine) : "Al Swainger’s latest Pointless Beauty offering is such a mix of styles, textures & grooves that it’s hard to pigeonhole. Not that that should matter of course. The use of electric instruments gives it a fusion/prog rock feel in places but essentially it’s for people who listen to music with an open mind. There are great compositions, beautiful melodies, some lovely playing & a joyous feel throughout. Al has created an alluring soundscape that transcends its influences."
Roger Beaujolais (Fairground Attraction) : "Al Swainger’s latest Pointless Beauty offering is such a mix of styles, textures & grooves that it’s hard to pigeonhole. Not that that should matter of course. The use of electric instruments gives it a fusion/prog rock feel in places but essentially it’s for people who listen to music with an open mind. There are great compositions, beautiful melodies, some lovely playing & a joyous feel throughout. Al has created an alluring soundscape that transcends its influences."
Rob Palmer (Echo Engine) : “Al Swainger’s latest release is a triumph! Hearts Full of Grace seamlessly integrates Al’s diverse talents and interests in a way that displays his best qualities as a composer, arranger and musician. The compositions are full of surprises melodically, harmonically and sonically but the writing never feels self conscious and anything less than perfectly serving his musical vision. He has also clearly chosen the musicians for this album to further enhance that vision. A compelling mix of melodic solos, tasteful accompaniment with enough danger and unpredictably to demand repeated listens.”
"I wasn’t sure what to expect although had liked the excerpts I heard in your interview. I’m just finishing listening to it for the third time and have found it to be unexpectedly quite moving? I can’t quite understand why as yet; This time, and at the weekend I’ve turned to it to be washed over by beautiful sounds when my work mind has been full and spilling out, when I have felt tired but my brain won’t rest, and today switched my work laptop off an hour early and laid on the floor with my lab Molly to listen and be transported somewhere I probably didn’t realise I needed to go." - Jo
"I just listened to your album and it moved me so much it made me weep. So gorgeous. I loved what you wrote about it too. It really resonated with me, and it made listening to the album so much more special. I absolutely love it" - Molly
"I have eclectic musical tastes and this record hits so many "jazz fusion" highlights for me. But there's so much more breadth and depth here with great melodies and rhythms. Oh and Flugelhorn! Best thing I've heard for a while. On repeat." - Steve
I take great delight in being versatile and exploring a wide range of musics. Growing up I learned to play a variety of acoustic instruments (bass, piano, french horn, guitar) alongside a fascination for sequencers, synths and fx pedals. I think of the music and art I produce as a form of emotional curation. I don't feel I really belong to a genre but 'cinematic fusion' might be as good a description as any.
"As inspired by Weather Report as Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Radiohead or Chick Corea it’s no surprise that Al Swainger’s authentic voice comes from some very eclectic places when it comes to expressing himself as performer and composer." - (Janinka Diverio) No Place Arts
"Al is without doubt one the most creative musicians I've had the pleasure to work with. He's gently honest in the studio, a truly instinctive improvisor, wonderful composer and selfless accompanist."
Composer / Multi-Instrumentalist
"Al is highly inventive and innovative, both sonically and musically, and is extremely intelligent in his approach to music. I would definitely recommend him to anyone wishing to add a sheen of professionalism to their music."
Composer / Producer / Vocalist & Multi-Instrumentalist
"Al is a serious artistic force. His artistry is expressed through numerous long-running creative projects. He channels his sonic inspiration in a variety of ensembles and is also a talented graphic artist. His work is difficult to categorise, straddling many different styles, consistently pushing the boundaries of composition and performance through use of electronics and technology. He doesn't neglect the acoustic angle either and is also a disciplined acoustic bassist. Al has a rare combination of qualities - creativity plus real organisational skill. He is indefatigable and has the drive and persistence to see things through.
Composer / Guitarist
"A wonderful teacher who has a true love of music, which makes all the difference to students. Gave me the confidence to go to my first open-mic night too."
Singer Songwriter / Multi-Instrumentalist
"Al is a great player to work with and extremely musical. He's very prompt and provides great quality content that is in-keeping with the music. It was a great experience working with him, highly recommended!"
Singer Songwriter / Session Vocalist
"Al Swainger is an amazing bass player, we worked together on "One Thousand Birds" the 3rd studio album by British singer, songwriter, artist, producer GRICE! amazing sound and musical concept! i really loved to work with him.. hope we'll have the chance to share some music in future! I highly recommend him!"
Drummer / Session Musician
"Al is at once rock solid and delightfuly creative, with extensive musical experience, in a wide range of settings and styles."
Drummer / Percussionist / Session Musician
"As a regular member of my Quartet for many years, Al has contributed a lot with his musicianship, arranging skills and extensive knowledge of the music industry. A great musician, composer and a very safe pair of hands at any live performance or recording session. ."
Vocalist / Bandleader / Composer