A Place To Be (33 Jazz)

Justin Swadling feat. Piatti Quartet

Released July 29, 2016

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review






A Place to Be is the first collaboration between British saxophonist Justin Swadling and the multi award winning string ensemble, Piatti Quartet. Written by Swadling in 2015, this new composition sees the introduction of many pioneering techniques in performance and recording. The outstanding sonic qualities of this record allow the listener to be fully submerged into a cinematic type experience full of mystery and intrigue.

This new work sees the Piatti Quartet employ a host of extended techniques designed to mimic the percussive sounds of legendary drum grooves and soul influenced bass lines. Indeed the extraordinary blend of alto saxophone and string quartet has paved the way to discovering many unique flavours genuinely bridging the gap between classical music and more contemporary genres.

Track Listing:

1. First Light 4:31
2. Breaking Through 4:44
3. Shadows Fall 1:18
4. Is This Forever 3:08
5. Hope Springs 2:29
6. Leap Of Faith 1:15
7. New Life 2:34
8. Until Again 1:09
9. A Place To Be (Continuous Mix) 4:31


Justin Swadling: alto saxophone

Nathaniel Anderson-Frank: violin

Jessie Ann Richardson: cello

Michael Trainor: violin

David Wigram: viola

​Produced by Justin Swadling


A bold journey through timbre and texture, A Place To Be beds the expressive saxophone of composer Justin Swadling within the remarkable Piatti Quartet. Recorded on vinyl, this foray into fresh sonic territory also features what Swadling calls “extended instrumental techniques,” in which the violins, viola and cello are bowed and “bounced” like a drum, conjuring sounds that flicker between classical, soul and country. Swadling says this beautiful, melodic work of modern music tells the story of a young man’s search for meaning and fulfillment. The music is aspirational and resolute, swelling only to subside and gather strength for another drive. It resolves strongly. But is it jazz? It seems the only reference is the saxophone as a lead voice; otherwise, this British release defies categorization. It is listening music, first and foremost, and it demands performance. The soundscape Swadling constructs is seamless, and even though he is the prominent soloist, his lines are notable more for their integration into the whole than for high relief. As did Charlie Parker’s work with strings, A Place To Be creates a new, distinctive sound.

Carlo Wolf (DownBeat)