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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kerry Politzer: Below the Surface

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Pianist Kerry Politzer's relocation to Portland, Oregon seems to have given her music a boost. Always a fine mainstream artist, whether working the trio or quartet modes on Blue in Blue (Piloo Records, 2010) or Labyrinth (Palisonic Records, 2005), now her first “Portland disc," Below the Surface, finds her in a common quintet setting--trumpet/saxophone and rhythm section--making uncommonly modern sounds. Politzer has crafted a sound that goes much more into the groove than her previous outings did. The tightly-woven compositions are meticulously arranged, and give space to superb soloing from trumpeter Thomas Barber and alto saxophonist David Valdez. ...

INTERVIEWS

Kerry Politzer: Voice And Voicings

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[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] Kerry Politzer is one of my favorite musicians, period. (Yeah, she's my wife, you gotta problem wit dat? No, I see the potential conflict of interest, but hey, it's all about who you know, right?) Seriously, Politzer is one of the most underrated musicians around. She has five amazing CDs to her name. She is a truly gifted jazz pianist and composer; however, a few years back, she whimsically decided to become a singer/songwriter, and within a few months had material for her ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kerry Politzer Quartet: Blue in Blue

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Two of the most enduring and popular ensemble set-ups in jazz are the piano trio--piano/bass/drums--and the piano trio, with a saxophone joining in. Pianist Kerry Politzer combines formats on Blue in Blue, with six tunes featuring her trio and four more with guest saxophonist Donny McCaslin.While You Took Me In (Polisonic Records, 2007) featured Politzer in a more pop-leaning mood, Blue in Blue finds her back in mainstream jazz land, sculpting a sound that mixes up piano influences from the likes of Bill Evans and Chick Corea, giving them, at times, the lightness and cool flow of Bossa ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Kerry Politzer

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Meet Kerry Politzer: I started out as a classical pianist, went over to jazz and Brazilian music, and am now exploring the world of vocals and lyrics. I've released three jazz albums: Yearning, Watercolor and Labyrinth; and one jazz-pop album, You Took Me In.Labyrinth was a finalist in the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards, and its first track, “Rhodes Rage," won Best Jazz Category, Third Prize in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition.Instrument(s): Piano, vocals.Teachers and/or influences? Most influential jazz teachers: Charlie Banacos and Bevan Manson. Brazilian music teacher: Vanderlei Pereira.Influences: Milton Nascimento, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kerry Politzer: You Took Me In

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Following her three releases as a jazz pianist who composes much of her material, Kerry Politzer steps out as a singer-songwriter with You Took Me In. As well as performing all the vocals, she plays piano with the band, which consists entirely of jazz musicians. Although the turn from jazz piano to pop-oriented song may seem surprising, Politzer has actually been active as a singer-songwriter for several years, and has received awards in songwriting competitions. On the songs that center on finding or seeking fulfillment in love, Politzer's voice is bright and sensuous, reminiscent of pop-jazz singer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kerry Politzer Quartet: Labyrinth

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Over the past few years, New England Conservatory graduate Kerry Politzer has emerged as one of the more interesting younger composers on the New York jazz scene. She leads a modern jazz trio and a Brazilian repertoire quartet to showcase her compositions. Labyrinth is her third release since 1999 and it draws from the best of those intersecting worlds: modern jazz with a Brazilian undercurrent. It's all original, often multi-layered material. Politzer is joined on this session by Andrew Rathbun on saxophones, Chris Higgins on bass, and her husband, George Colligan--better known as a pianist--on drums. “Rhodes Rage ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kerry Politzer Quartet: Labyrinth

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The press release accompanying pianist/composer Kerry Politzer's third album professes her love of Brazilian music and straight-ahead jazz. We certainly hear some good examples of her approach to samba, but most of this album is squarely in the category of well developed mainstream jazz in a trio and quartet setting. Politzer is joined by Andrew Rathbun, dividing his time on tenor and soprano sax on half of this album, plus bassist Chris Higgins and drummer George Colligan. (Colligan is perhaps better known as a well-recorded pianist with many albums under his own name.)

Beginning with the frenetic samba “Rhodes Rage," ...



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