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Organist Radam Schwartz Releases 'Saxophone Quartet Music' on Arabesque Jazz

Saxophone Quartet Music is a very different type of album from jazz organist Radam Schwartz, one in which he contributes the inventive arrangements and many of the compositions but does not actually appear.
Radam Schwartz
Radam Schwartz is well-known in the jazz world as one of its top organists. His associations with such notables as Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Al Hibbler, David "Fathead" Newman, Russell Malone and Cecil Brooks III. His series of recordings as a leader have helped invigorate the hard bop and soul jazz traditions.

In addition to his organ and piano playing, Radam Schwartz is a talented arranger-composer, and an influential jazz educator. He has written a series of pieces for a saxophone quartet and, for his latest project, he utilizes three of his most skilled former students from the Jazz Institute of New Jersey (soprano-saxophonist Marcus G. Miller, altoist Irwin Hall, and tenor-saxophonist Anthony Ware) plus his friend baritonist Max Schweiger to play his memorable music.

The set begins with Miller’s soprano in the lead over the other saxophonists’ rhythmic accompaniment on “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” “Sway In Rinc.in” often has three different but complementary ideas going on simultaneously: a soloist, baritonist Schweiger’s rhythmic riff, and stimulating accompaniment by two of the other saxophonists. Guitarist Misha Josephs guests on that selection.

“The Ancients” is a feature for altoist Hall while “With These Hands” (which begins with Schwartz’s original “Hands”) has soulful singing by Carrie Jackson. “Validation,” which utilizes the chord changes of Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation,” is a boppish romp. The set concludes with the joyful and celebratory ensemble piece “As Long As You’re Remembered” (with Andrew Atkinson sitting in on percussion), a ballad tribute to the unheralded giants of the Newark jazz scene who early on inspired Schwartz (“Many Seasons Wise One”), and a warm rendition of “My Ship.

Radam Schwartz was born and raised in New York City, played saxophone and keyboards in high school, and for a time settled on piano. Early on he played with altoist Charlie Mariano’s fusion group, tenor-saxophonist Jimmy Ford, the New Jersey Contemporary Orchestra, and Al Hibbler. After switching to organ, Schwartz traveled with Arthur Prysock, gained important experience playing regularly in Newark, and worked with Cecil Brooks III. Since then he has led ten albums of his own, appeared on over 40 as a sideman, and been very busy as an organist, educator, and arranger-composer.

Saxophone Quartet Music is a unique entry in Radam Schwartz’s discography, showcasing his writing talents for an unusual ensemble and providing listeners with a set filled with fresh music, memorable tone colors, and swinging performances.

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Track Listing

Let’s Hear It For The Boy; Sway in Rincóin; The Ancients; Hands/With These Hands; Validation; As Long As You’re Remembered (You’re Still Alive); Many Seasons Wise One; My Ship.

Personnel

Radam Schwartz
organ, Hammond B3
Marcus G. Miller
saxophone, soprano
Irwin Hall
saxophone
Anthony Ware
saxophone, tenor
Max Schweiger
saxophone, baritone
Andrew Atkinson
percussion

Album information

Title: Saxophone Quartet Music | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Arabesque Jazz


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