Kerry Politzer: Watercolor (2002)
Watercolor features a happy coincidence between title and content. According to the Tallahassee Watercolor Society , the "fleeting effects of nature" are best captured through watercolor's "inherent luminosity" and "capacity for rapid execution." The Jazzification of Classical aesthetics one finds in this oeuvre is conceived from conceptual and technical akin views and practices present in both the histories of jazz and watercolor, and well represented herein. A quick perusal of the composition titles will reveal an obvious connection to nature in the composer's mindful flow a la watercoloring. Unlike other techniques such as oil painting, the physical structuring of transparency in a watercolor image depends just as much on what is left in, as it does on what is taken out. Politzer's performances and compositions leave enough luminous jazz within Classical gouaches "with short-lived Brazilian insinuations and touches" to warrant immediate recognition as a dear set of rapidly executed musical watercolors. Wisely, she chose several techniques and approaches in her musical work that parallel others in watercolor. The grainy effect achieved through a dry brush technique in watercolor, for example, is musically matched in this recording in some tunes. Wetter and softer brush technical variations are also evident.
On another happy coincidence, there is a close resemblance between Politzer and the model used in "The White Girl," later renamed "Symphony in White, No. 1," by James McNeill Whistler - a renowned watercolorist. Whistler reconceived and renamed the painting in musical terms, adding yet another coincidence in this trail of intersecting musical and artistic crossroads. Furthermore, Whistler's explanation for said painting also parallels the music in Watercolor ! According to Mark Harden , in said painting "there was no subject; or, more precisely, the subject is simply that of a model posing in an artist's studio. The painting is a study of purely formal pictorial values. Whistler directed the model to hang her arms listlessly and maintain an expressionless face to ensure the exclusion of narrative. In this manner the work is presented as 'Art for Art's Sake,' without reference to anything outside itself." The 12 tunes Politzer recorded could be similarly described, albeit with some important distinctions. Politzer, just to highlight one of those dissimilarities, does have plenty to narrate with her swinging and effective playing. In that regard, she does say quite a bit even when the mood is not towards energetic forms.
That Politzer and Whistler can be spoken about together ought to say much about her music, as the artistic legacy of North American watercolorists is quite valuable.
Contact: www.kerrypolitzer.com .
Track Listing: 1. Watercolor 2. Sparks 3. Early Spring Chill 4. A Foggy Day 5. Whim 6. Waiting 7. Woodpecker 8. Silent Morning 9. Waltz for Charlie 10. Identity 11. Simmer 12. Green Light
Personnel: Bass-Dan Fabricatore. Drums-Scott McLemore. Piano-Kerry Politzer.
Record Label: Polisonic