L.A. Jazz Scene — March 2014
MARCH 2014, ISSUE # 318
by Scott Yanow
A superior tenor-saxophonist from Northern California, Anton Schwartz has his own sound and a fresh conception of forward-looking hard bop. On Flash Mob he is joined by trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist John Shifflett and drummer Lorca Hart.
Performing nine of his originals plus Kenny Dorham’s “La Mesha” and Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy,” Schwartz has created a CD worthy of the best of 1960s Blue Note. Not all of the music necessarily sounds like that era, but if Blue Note had continued recording creative sessions with their roster of jazz greats into the 1970s and ‘80s, some of it might have sounded like this.
In addition to Schwartz, who is heard throughout in prime form, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci shows that he is one of the unsung greats around today, Taylor Eigsti plays as great as always and John Shifflett and Lorca Hart are stimulating in their support of the lead voices.
Whether it is the catchy boogaloo “Swamp Thang,” the driving “Pangur Ban,” the lowdown “Alleybird,” or “The Contender,” there are several songs on this set that deserve to become future standards. Anton Schwartz, who concludes the fine set with the brooding ballad “Down Song,” shows throughout that he is very much a contender. Hopefully he will record more often in the future. Flash Mob is available from antonjazz.com.