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Anton Schwartz: Radiant Blue

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Radiant Blue could make an excellent introduction to jazz for someone on the outside looking for a way in. Because it is based on the blues, it is accessible. And because tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz and his capable sidemen are deadly serious about their fun, there is enough musical substance here to make sure the jazz neophyte is exposed to the real thing.

Those sidemen are guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist John Shifflett and drummer Tim Bulkley. They are all adept at staying in the pocket while stretching it. As for Schwartz, he has a classic clear-throated tenor sound and kicks like a mule. His zeal to communicate is fervent yet sophisticated.

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