It was nice to get out of a deep and dark December and into a warm, welcoming environment—then listen to jazz ballads against a backdrop of improvisational paintings. That’s just what I did on December 2 at Peace Lutheran Church, in Danville. The Jazz Church West concert for the month featured Anton Schwartz on tenor sax and Mike Scott on guitar. The duo was backed up by paintings of Danville artist Diane Pruett.
Anton and Mike, as the duo is known, painted hypnotic, warm tones that brought to mind
Fitzgerald’s “yellow cocktail music” from Gatsby. Pruett improvises with multifarious materials and techniques, including pour painting, nicely complementing the sounds. She notes that her work “has been called intuitive, changing from Impressionist to abstract.” Seattle-based Schwartz and Socal-based Scott complemented each other, often employing doubling or counterpoint.
My one complaint is that the two did not identify the pieces they were playing—with one exception, almost. As an antidote to the generally horrible world situation, Schwartz said, “Let’s finish on a rather happy note.” The two then proceeded to play “Put on a Happy Face.”
The concert was part of an ongoing program of jazz and art at the church. I’ll have more about Jazz Church West and art exhibits in future installments.