A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Kerry Politizer has selected her own compositions for the play list for her debut album. Many of the tunes have a Brazilian bent to them which the quartet feels right at home with. The major players on this set with Politzer, are reed player Eric Rasmussen and strong guitarist, Pete Smith. It's clear that Politzer understands that it is sometimes better to get in and say what you have to say quickly and get out. While there are a couple of tracks which exceed five minutes, most are short avoiding repetition. Politzer's music has an engaging melody line, but isn't sufficiently substantial to provide opportunities for lengthy, meaningful improvisation. The Samba related material such as "Twist of Samba" hold up the best. The longest piece on the set, "Yearning", is an alternating conversation between Politzer and Eric Rasmussen's soprano sax and bassist Howard Britz. The lamenting sound of the soprano sax, one of the instruments of choice for smooth jazz, creates the proper atmosphere to match the tune's title. Politzer's comping piano pulls against Pete Smith's guitar in a race track rendition of "Tug of War".
Most of the tunes move along at a very brisk pace which allows the highly honed technical skill of the performers to be put on display. After a while the listener might get a craving for some slower rhythms where Politzer puts some space in her playing to allow one to absorb what's being directed at him. Perhaps for her next outing she might consider including a tenor sax. After a while the high-pitched soprano, no matter how well played, gets to be cloying. For more about Politzer, visit her web site at www. kerrypolitzer.com.
Personnel: Kerry Politzer - Piano/Vocal; Pete Smith - Guitar; Howard Britz - Bass; Andrea Valentini -Drums; Eric Rasmussen - Alto & Soprano Sax