iTunes Store — July, 2014
Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz has had a strong presence as a player, teacher, and mentor on the West Coast for nearly two decades, first living in San Francisco and now in Seattle. He’s stayed so busy that it’s been eight years since his last album. Picking up right where he left off, Flash Mob tastefully channels a blend of late-’50s to mid-’60s jazz, specifically The Jazz Messengers and John Coltrane’s Atlantic era. The former comes through in the unison horn lines of Schwartz and trumpet/flugelhorn player Dominick Farinacci, and the latter in the playing of the saxophonist as well as the tight and punchy work of pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist John Shifflett, and drummer Lorca Hart. The insistent title track kicks things off on high note, with a nice greasy blues called “Swamp Thang” following. There are also several excellent ballads here, led by the elegiac “Dawn Song,” the slow blues of “Alleybird,” and a noir-ish take on Kenny Dorham’s “La Mesha.” Lightening the mood, Schwartz also includes a New Orleans—style take on Monk’s “Epistrophy.” Job done: this is thoughtful, exceptionally detailed, and just plain fresh-sounding.
▶ Original Editors’ Note [on iTunes Store]