432

Kerry Politzer Quartet: Blue in Blue

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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 Nova.

"Desolation or Hope" opens this set of Politzer originals, beginning with a mournful piano intro that shifts to a light-stepping and hopeful trio interlude, leading to McCaslin's mournful tenor. It is an adept dance between the emotions on a tune that shifts between light and dark.

"Early Spring" shifts to the trio, with drummer George Colligan and bassist Paul Beaudry. The sophistication, beauty and accessibility of this lighter-than-air tune points to Politzer's award-winning songwriting skills, while the delicacy and subtle piano touch lean toward her early classical studies, before the jazz bug bit.

"November" brings McCaslin back, giving a heartily freewheeling feel to the proceedings. Politzer's solo glows with bright spontaneity in front of the bass and drums' rumble and bustle rhythm. "Washington Park" has an off-kilter, mildly funky zest with a Brazilian injection, Beaudry rolling with jittery, Scott LaFaro energy on his solo as Colligan bumps into a bouncy groove.

"Shifting Clouds," with McCaslin on soprano, finds Politzer delivering another of her succinct and sparklingly gorgeous solo spots. The title tune (with the trio) has that inward, unhurried, meditative mood of Miles Davis' "Green in Blue," with Politzer displaying a more outgoing, busier piano approach than Bill Evans did with Davis' original on Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959).

Blue in Blue proves itself a first-rate jazz outing, from one of the genre's rising stars.

Track Listing: Desolation or Hope; Early Spring Chill; November; Washington Park; Shifting Clouds; Blue in Blue; Brzilian Accents; What Will Be; Sing; Left Unsaid.

Personnel: Kerry Politzer: piano; Donny McCaslin: saxophones (1, 3, 5, 7); Paul Beaudry: bass; George Colligan; drums.

Title: Blue in Blue | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Piloo Records and Productions LLC


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Baby Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Baby Talk
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Duality: Particles & Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Duality: Particles & Waves
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.