Anton Schwartz – Holiday Time
(Anton Jazz – 2004)
by S.H. Watkins, Sr.
The Bay area’s coolest sax cat has a smooth five-track Christmas release that’s a must have for your holiday parties. Don’t get me wrong, it’s NOT smooth jazz, it’s CD full of a straight ahead versions of Christmas classics that is soooooo smooth you almost forget it’s holiday fare. It is on my holiday playlist every year!
Jingle Bells starts out studied and mellow before hitting the swing groove. Winter Wonderland is laid over a Reggae-inspired bottom with some sweet sax riffs from the man. The classic Christmas Song comes at you low and slow, filled with the nuances that make Anton the young lion that he is. At times you can almost hear the old man singing in your head. Sleigh Ride is delivered more boppishly, Anton’s phrasing careful yet jazzy. The CD closes out with In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, somber and slow and filled with the emotions of the season.
Anton Schwartz’ strengths are in his interpretation and his writing. There are no originals here, but the interpretive component is kicking on all four cylinders. As I said, it’s a must have. Visit AntonJazz.Com to purchase your copy now.