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Tenor Saxophonist Anton Schwartz Celebrates The Release of "Radiant Blue"!

SOURCE: Published: 2006-08-03
New CD Release from Tenor Saxophonist Anton Schwartz

Anton Schwartz (tenor saxophone), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Taylor Eigsti (piano), John Shifflett (bass), Tim Bulkley (drums)

Radiant Blue (Antonjazz AJ-1004) - Available on August 8!

“... an amazingly talented horn player with a great ear and oodles of stage presence." - Jim Harrington, The Oakland Tribune Anton Schwartz - Radiant Blue CD Release Concerts!:

Thursday, August 17 @ 7:00 PM, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz. For tkts and additional info call 831 427 2227 or click on www.kuumbwajazz.org

Saturday, August 19 @ Noon, The San Jose Jazz Festival. For tkts and additional info click on www.sanjosejazz.org

Monday, August 21 @ 8:00 & 10:00 PM, Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. For tkts and additional info call 510 652 9200 or click on www.yoshis.com

Tuesday, August 22 @ 8:30 PM, Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 West Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, featuring pianist Russell Ferrante of The Yellowjackets. For tkts and additional info call 323 466 2210 or click on www.catalinajazzclub.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On August 8, 2006 tenor saxophonist, composer and educator Anton Schwartz proudly releases his fourth CD as a leader, Radiant Blue, the latest recording in a series of compelling, highly enjoyable statements (including When Music Calls, The Slow Lane and Holiday Time) from the New York born and raised, and Oakland based, artist. For the recording of Radiant Blue, Schwartz assembled a world-class ensemble featuring Peter Bernstein (guitar), Taylor Eigsti (piano), John Shifflett (bass) and Tim Bulkley (drums). A special edition of Radiant Blue will be available in the DVD-Audio format (stereo, 24-bit, 96kHz sampling). Radiant Blue is an album comprised of ten tunes that uses the form of the blues as a base for liberating musical sojourns. Schwartz explains further: “my hope is that, regardless of your musical knowledge, with a few listenings of the CD you will be able to 'squint your ears' and make out the shape of a blues, in the same way you might recognize an old friend at a distance by just their silhouette and their walk. For jazz musicians, the blues form is such a friend." The saxophonist adds that, Radiant Blue is a CD of blueses, but it is not a blues CD any more than The Who's rock opera, Tommy, is an opera CD." Radiant Blue opens with “Phantom Dance," a tune that grabs you with its warmth, groove and Anton's simple and honest melody. Following this welcoming tune, Schwartz gets into a second-line blues ("Alligator Strut") and some odd-time Jobim with an adventurous take on “Wave," including a reharmonized bridge. “This version is melodic & pretty through much of the song, but slammin' by the end. And yes, that is four saxophones you're hearing in the background by the very end of the tune. (all Anton)," says the saxophonist. Other highlights on Radiant Blue include “Life & Times" which boasts a “feel- good South African groove" and an introspective, soothing melody, that is, “peaceful for much of the song, then changes gears and gets extremely energetic," explains Schwartz. Schwartz's solo on this tune is overflowing with melody and rhythm, and is nothing but pure joy to listen to. Pianist Taylor Eigsti shines, as does the rest of the band, on the Horace Silver-esque “Groundsurge." Schwartz composed “Hooking Up" for two friends when they were getting married. They must be a hip, timeless couple, judging by the fascinating hard bop head and joyous, free-blowing solos from Schwartz and long-time musical partners, guitarist Peter Bernstein and bassist John Shifflett. On another Schwartz original, “Marcel Marceau," the band burns while delivering a minimalist, funky drum groove with syncopated piano and bass hits. The solo sections reflect the boundless energy and creative spark of the tune's legendary namesake. Schwartz explains the origins of the piece: “I wrote this tune after hearing Marcel Marceau interviewed on NPR. He was talking about positive and negative space. It got me thinking about positive and negative space in music, and this song is the result. There are lots of spaces in the composition, and they contribute as much to the identity of the song as the actual musical phrases." Throughout the recording the band digs in on Schwartz's original compositions with exuberance, and the kind of unified intent and virtuosity that is associated with jazz's most revered groups, making Radiant Blue a must have recording--not only for serious jazz fans, but for listeners who just love great music.

“... warm, generous tone, impeccably developed solos and infectious performance energy." - Jerry Karp, The San Francisco Chronicle

More on Anton Schwartz: Jazz saxophonist Anton Schwartz has been drawing listeners in with the power, spirit and subtle complexity of his music since he bounded onto the San Francisco jazz scene in 1995. At 27, Anton was answering the call of his long-standing passion for jazz, stepping away from the high-level research in Artificial Intelligence he'd carried out at Harvard and Stanford. Quite a career change. Once in action as a musician, Anton quickly gained an enthusiastic following as music fans responded to what the San Francisco Chronicle recently called his “warm, generous tone, impeccably developed solos and infectious performance energy."

After taking up the clarinet at age twelve in 1979 and switching to saxophone two years later, Schwartz's passion for jazz eventually led him to come under the tutelage of jazz masters Warne Marsh and Eddie Daniels. While in high school he formed a group with future stars Peter Bernstein and Larry Goldings and got a taste of the big time, appearing in concert with both Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman. In college Schwartz held the prestigious first tenor sax chair in the Harvard Jazz Band, after Don Braden and before Joshua Redman. And inevitably, Anton's heart drew him to a full-time jazz career. In '95 he jumped feet first into the San Francisco jazz scene that has remained his home, even as he's traveled the country.

Praise for Anton's performances and recordings has been unceasing. Jazz Improv Magazine called Anton's 2004 Christmas CD, Holiday Time, “A superb album, bubbling with a combination of imaginative and sweet sounding playing--enjoyable year round." Of his 2000 release, The Slow Lane, Billboard Magazine wrote, “Schwartz savors the implications of each note, allowing the listener to delight in the endless melodies created by his stirring improvisations." Anton's first CD, When Music Calls (1998), inspired the San Francisco Bay Guardian to report, “Anton Schwartz has everything you want to hear in a modern jazz saxophonist - an appealing, consistent tone, an abundance of ideas fueling both his compositions and his improvisations, and superb taste in musical collaborators." Perhaps famed saxophonist Illinois Jacquet put things most succinctly when he told Anton, “You play the tenor sax like it's meant to be played."

A well-rounded professional, Anton is also in great demand as a teacher. He is a faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop and The Jazzschool, where he has designed courses ranging from “Improvising Eighth Note Lines" to “The Physics of Musical Sound." He is also a clinician at the Brubeck Institute.

“It's especially gratifying to me to see so many people reacting so wholeheartedly to my music," says Anton. Indeed, longtime aficionados and jazz newcomers alike rave about his performances. That ability to capture hearts and minds at all ends of the jazz spectrum has made Anton a force to be reckoned with in the world of modern jazz, now and for years to come.

“Swinging with a natural feel for the music and drawing each piece through creative waters... a glimmer of hope for the future of this genre." - Jim Santella, Allaboutjazz.com

Posted By: Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity


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