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Anton Schwartz: The Slow Lane

A talented borrower with smooth control of the tenor saxophone, Schwartz has paid close attention to Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, John Coltrane and other tenor innovators of the second half of the 20th century. He wraps together their influences with a full tone. His playing is marked by relaxation and easy negotiation of chord changes. In publicity about Schwartz, much is made of Shorter’s and Warne Marsh’s impact on his development, but on this collection his improvisations are generally distinguished by ease and comfort rather than the acerbic harmonic approaches of his idols. In the suspended ending of his “Don’t Ask,” he has a couple of minutes of inspired interval leaps, tonal manipulation and sparring with drummer Jason Lewis. Lewis, pianist Paul Nagel and bassist John Shifflett work well together and with Schwartz on this pleasant album.

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