A superior and flexible bassist able to contribute to a wide variety of advanced settings, Harvie S (formerly Harvie Swartz) is perhaps best known for his series of duet recordings and performances with singer Sheila Jordan. Originally a pianist, he started playing bass fairly late (in 1967, when he was already 19) but developed quickly. After attending Berklee, he performed in the Boston area with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Mose Allison, and Chris Connor, among others. After moving to New York in 1972, Swartz worked with Jackie & Roy, Jackie Paris, Thad Jones, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Barry Miles and Silverlight (1974-1976), David Friedman, Double Image, Dave Matthews' big band, Steve Kuhn (1977-1981), Paul Motian, and countless other top musicians. Harvie Swartz has headed several of his own groups, including Urban Earth (which recorded for Gramavision); he has also led dates for Bluemoon and Novus, and recorded often with Sheila Jordan.
During the late '90s he developed an interest in Latin jazz after studying Afro-Cuban music. He integrated this influence into his own music, resulting in his Eye Contact project. Bembe Records released the debut Eye Contact album, Havana Mañana, in 1999 and returned in 2002 with a follow-up, New Beginning, that featured Michael Brecker (saxophone) and Ray Vega (trombone). Since 2001, Swartz has performed as Harvie S., releasing a dozen or more records under that moniker. ~ Scott Yanow