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Anton Schwartz Quintet

Anton Schwartz was performing doctoral research in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford and the University of Bonn in Germany, when the fluorescent lights and academic grind made him sick. He left academia without a career plan.

Anton Schwartz

He went back to the saxophone to help fill the time. Now he's been making music for more than ten years, with three CDs including a Christmas album. There's info about that on his Web site; scroll down for a link.

Anton grew up in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan. He was a teenager, practically sneaking into Sweet Basil in Greenwich Village, when he fell in love with Abdullah Ibrahim and the band Ekaya.

Some of Anton's music has an Ekaya feel -- in this show it's "Life and Times" -- but there's more.

He's written lyrics about an imaginary corner for "26th and Paragon." "Pangur Ban" has a melody reminiscent of Thelonious Monk, with Irish harmony and a New Orleans groove. "Somewhere" is from West Side Story.

There's a lot of work to having this career, but the payoff comes onstage -- not the planning for it but the going for it. It's like romance, says Anton, when you realize that something is happening, but no one has put it into words yet. From a band grooving happily on the longest night of the year - Winter Solstice 2004, cozy up and enjoy the Anton Schwartz Quintet on this JazzSet.

"26th and Paragon"
"Life and Times"
"Pangur Ban"
"Phantom Dance"
"Alligator Strut"

Two young stars are in Anton's band: Taylor Eigsti on piano and Julian Lage on guitar. Taylor was only 12 when Anton first heard him play, at the Stanford University Jazz Workshop. John Shifflett is on bass, Tim Bulkley on drums.

Anton Schwartz site

Anton Schwartz Christmas Collection info

Yoshi's site

Thanks to Bud Spangler of Syntropy Audio in Oakland, with recording engineer Brian Walker, assistant Eli Robbins, and the team at Yoshi's including Dan Pettit and Peter Williams.

Dee Dee's recording team is Eric Plesko and Pauline Dabrowski at Radio France in Paris, with Brian McCabe at Jazz 88, WBGO in Newark, New Jersey.

Our technical director is Duke Markos, producer Becca Pulliam, executive producer Thurston Briscoe.

Copyright 2007 NPR