Born: June 5, 1972 Primary Instrument: Bass
Born in 1972, Al began playing the cornet and piano at the age of 6; he also tried the trumpet & tenor horn before finally settling on the french horn at 11. His teen years were spent in a wide variety of ensembles and stylistic settings - classical, jazz, pop and rock - often 4 or 5 days a week throughout his schooling. Mainly performing on french horn at this time but also on piano and self taught electric guitar and bass. He also developed an enthusiasm for computer music, composing & arranging extensively using sequencing software and home recording equipment.
Al earned his degree in music from Colchester institute in 1993 and a teaching certificate the following year from Bretton Hall. Whilst studying for his degree he held the piano chair in the university big band as well as continuing to play orchestral french horn.
After completing formal studies Al became a part time instrumental teacher for Devon Youth Music. At the same time he started to build a reputation as an electric bass player, musical director & arranger amongst the local soul & big bands. With the collapse of the teaching arm of the music service in 2004 Al took the opportunity to become a full time self-employed musician and to expand his skills into playing double bass as well.
Since then Al has jointly run an open jazz jam session for 3 years, formed his own bands (Monkey’s Uncle, Time Wasters, Power of Time Monkeys, Mother Popcorn & the Art Trip) and earned a formidable reputation as a sideman - most notably with the Craig Milverton Trio & Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen.
Tracks: Chilli Pepper, Miss Who?, Tin Tin Deo, Straight Life, Las Cuevas de Mario, Imagination, I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me, Too Close For Comfort, I Love You, Mambo Koyama, Gone With The Wind, Our Song, Whims of Chambers
Personnel: Alan Barnes: Alto Sax, Craig Milverton - Piano, Al Swainger - Double Bass, Nick Millward - Drums
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