Music News

Jon Swift

Chronophonic rhymer Jon Swift specializes in a hip-hop/R&B hybrid that's not driven by samples. Instead, he leans on the talents of noteworthy local performers, who help put Fresh Fitted into an enjoyable groove.

Yo, Flaco! keyboardist Matt Piazza might be the dominant instrumentalist here, but he gets able assistance from bassist Josh Fairman, drummer Johnny Schmidt and percussionist Scott Mast. Meanwhile, Swift, frequently supplemented by vocalist Yvonne Underhill, emerges as an adept MC whether he's musing soulfully throughout "Let's Ride" or engaging in the trickier tongue play that dominates "Pure Adrenaline" and "Goin' Off," a bonus track as spare as it is sly.

The words on display aren't especially revelatory, but that's not the point. Swift's debut CD focuses on the sort of musical flow that's possible only when players are bouncing notes off each other instead of borrowing ones created by others. For the most part, the results are Fresh.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts