Anton Schwartz – The Slow Lane
The Slow Lane
by Ray Redmond
With his newest release ‘The Slow Lane’, Anton Schwartz has once again shown himself to be one of the up-and-coming ‘young lions’ in the Jazz world. Good saxaphone players can make their instrument talk to you. Anton goes a step farther… his music communicates with your soul. The warm, sensuous ‘Curve of the Earth’ is a lively samba-influenced piece. It is one of the tunes from this release that I had the joy of hearing performed live when Anton was last in the Portland area and it is every bit as beautiful on the CD as it was live.
The uptempo ‘Don’t Ask’ is a fast-paced rollicking ride. ‘Then again’, another original, is a bit long at 9 minutes but it is a pensive, uplifting ballad that shows the range and talent for intonation that makes Anton special. That same talent is also aparrent on his cover of the Strayhorn classic ‘Chelsea Bridge’.
Other covers include the classic ‘Along came Betty’ and ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’. Both of these tunes have strong vocal melodies, which are deftly and melodiously handled by Schwartz’ smooth sax styling. Anton Schwartz has done one of the hardest things in the music world… followed up a good album with another that is comparable good. Be sure to keep an eye on this young performer/producer, he’ll be around for some time to come.