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by Blue Cranes

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    This download purchase includes a digital booklet with credits, photos and information.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Swim via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $16.50 USD or more 


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    This is an extremely high-quality vinyl version of this fine album, and, of course, the extremely eye-catching cover artwork looks just wonderful in this larger size. Plus, it's the Blue Cranes, so we pressed it on beautiful, translucent blue vinyl! It includes a download coupon for the digital version of the music. Limited edition, one time-only pressing of 500 copies.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Swim via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $24 USD or more 


Polarnatt 05:59
Soldier 05:50
For Chris 02:49
Goldfinches 06:42


"One of Portland's brightest lights." - Downbeat

"Says more than most singer-songwriters—without any words at all." - Willamette Week

"A truly unconventional approach to improvised music that puts other third-streamers to shame" - WNYC

"A strong focus on ensemble playing over individual virtusity" - Dave King (The Bad Plus)

"This is that album that you leave in your car stereo for a month on purpose." - Scott Borne, music director WWOZ

"The first time I saw Portland's Blue Cranes live, I walked away trying to compare what I'd seen to anything I'd encountered before. I couldn't do it, and I still can't - the band is a force of nature.... Call it "creative music" or "post-jazz" or whatever you like, but the Blue Cranes sound is steeped in the ideas and concepts of jazz....a beautifully improvised sonic experience." - NPR/A Blog Supreme

The members of Blue Cranes—Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Keith Brush on bass, and Ji Tanzer on drums—bring a unique array of experiences to their group-centered aesthetic, including work with AU, The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, Wayne Horvitz, Rebecca Gates, Laura Gibson, Ethan Rose, Pete Krebs, Black Prairie and Portland Cello Project. The band takes an evolutionary step forward on their fourth full-length album, Swim.

Swim is a departure from Blue Cranes' previous, and in some ways simpler, albums. Steered dutifully by producer Nate Query of The Decemberists, it is a window into the sometimes messy emotional space of a group struggling with and celebrating the ephemeralness of life. This work is the culmination of several between-album projects, including a 30-day crowd-sourced Amtrak train tour in 2011, and a seven day group composition retreat, supported in part by a grant from Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council. However, the heart of Swim lies in indelibly profound life events—the passing away of two dear friends, a serious injury, two weddings, and the birth of a child (Wallsmith's first)—events at tragic and uplifting extremes, both cathartic and celebratory.


released June 4, 2013

Blue Cranes:
Reed Wallsmith - alto saxophone
Joe Cunningham - tenor saxophone
Rebecca Sanborn - keyboards
Keith Brush - bass
Ji Tanzer - drums

Additional musicians:
Eyvind Kang, viola (2,5); Patti King, violin (2,3,5,6,8); Kyleen King, viola (2,3,5,6,8); Anna Fritz, cello (2,3,5,6,8); Nick Sweet, trombone (7); Noah Bernstein, alto saxophone (3,7); Chad Hensel, bass clarinet (3,7); Gus Baum, trumpet (3); Steve Berlin, baritone saxophone (3); Patrick Finley, trombone (3); Cooper McBean, saw (9); Jessica Cooke, Rhodes (9); Kevin DeMarco, guitar (9); Sam Howard, acoustic bass (9); Eric Redpath, drums (9).

All songs published by Lift Music Flown Music (BMI), except "Corporal's Lament" published by Stonk13 (ASCAP).

Recorded at Jackpot! (Portland, Oregon) by Kendra Lynn, Type Foundry (Portland, Oregon) by Jason Powers, and Licorice Labs (Davis, California) by Cooper McBean.

Mixed by Gregg Williams, except "Corporal's Lament" mixed by Kendra Lynn.

Produced by The Decemberists' Nate Query.

Mastering and vinyl lacquer cut by Gus Elg at Sky Onion, except "Corporal's Lament" mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios.

Cover and CD booklet photographs by Megan Kathleen McIsaac.
Vinyl label photograph by Erica Lord.
Design / layout by Dylan McConnell at Tiny Little Hammers.

Made possible in part by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (Portland, Oregon).



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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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