467

Radam Schwartz / Conspiracy for Positivity: Magic Tales

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
In Magic Tales, organist Radam Schwartz and Conspiracy For Positivity have delivered jazz to enjoy—straight-ahead, spiced with funk, with creativity to burn.

Like many jazz musicians today, Schwartz also teaches—in his case as a director of the Jazz Institute of New Jersey—while keeping his hand in performing with side gigs. For a number of years, he has led groups composed of former students, with Magic Tales the second release by the current Conspiracy quintet.

Schwartz has been around some 25 years, paying dues with the likes of Arthur Prysock, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Russell Malone and David "Fathead" Newman. In the liner notes, he says he's not a showcase soloist on organ, such as Joey DeFrancesco, who pulls out all the stops all the time; rather, he favors the ensemble style perfected by his favorite organists Jack McDuff and Charles Earland.

Here he sets a steady groove which pulls together a talented assemblage—James Gibbs III on trumpet, Anthony Ware on alto sax, Mischa Fatkiev or Ryan Clackner on guitar and Joe Brown Jr. on drums. Anthony Hopkins' baritone sax contributes mightily on four tracks. The group plays nine originals, mostly by Schwartz, along with a Mariah Carey pop tune and Joe Henderson standard.

Standing out on the play card is Schwartz's complex arrangement of the title track, its funky beat supporting a swirling horn chorus and introducing Nelson, who takes an assertive low-down solo.

Schwartz's majestic organ chords usher the ensemble into his "Imprecise Exactitudes," before the arrangement spotlights outstanding solos: Ware's creative alto improvisation giving way to Clackner, who soon hands it back to the leader for a driving finish. Ware's talents are also featured on Schwartz's plaintive ballad, "Love Conversation," where he contributes a soulful solo.

Variety is the keynote of the album, and Schwartz changes gear with his "Half Gibbs—Full Nelson." As the title suggests, Gibbs' trumpet is teamed with Nelson's baritone, as they ping-pong back and forth, exchanging bars with abandon.

On Magic Tales the mentor can be proud of his subjects—and himself as well.


Track Listing: You'll Always Be My Baby; Sands of Time; Sunday Off Broadway; Magic Tales; The Kicker; Imprecise Exactitudes; Love Conversation; Stevie's Beautiful Soul; Between Me and You; Half Gibbs-Full Nelson; World Anthem.

Personnel: Radam Schultz: organ; James Gibbs III: trumpet; Anthony Ware: alto sax; Anthony Nelson: baritone sax (3, 4, 7, 8, 10); Misha Fatkiev: guitar (1-5, 7, 10); Ryan Clackner: guitar (6, 8, 9, 11); Joe Brown Jr.: drums.

Title: Magic Tales | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Arabesque Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Mobiles Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Mobiles Vol. 1
by James Nadal
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That" CD/LP/Track Review A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.