146

Kerry Politzer Quartet: Labyrinth

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
Kerry Politzer Quartet: Labyrinth 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 is an up-tempo samba on which Andrew Rathbun's tenor sets the burning pace for Politzer's keyboard pyrotechnics that follow.

"Paloma is a breezy bossa nova with much nuance, yet the band is never far from the fire that the opening track established. It features Rathbun on soprano sax, with Politzer and company right with him in a dialogue that feels like more than mere comping; in fact, it seamlessly launches her intense and sparkling solo. "The End? is a piano trio showcase for the composer/pianist's introspective side. It also reveals Colligan's fine range and touch on the drums. "Hya also features Rathbun on soprano and is more straight-ahead, straddling the line between a ballad and a moderately up-tempo feel.

"After the Smoke, Memories is a piano-dominated trio piece that artfully translates emotions rooted in the 9/11 tragedy into music. Sadness gives way to memories and hope. The multi-layered "Propulsion brings an up-tempo mood shift to the session, and the aptly named title track is filled with musical twists and turns that lead into a Politzer solo which turns the simmering heat into a boil.

The session winds down with two more trio pieces with an intensity and musical imagery that befits their titles, as well as a brief piano solo called "And Away We Go.... "Super Ball, for one, brings back memories as a kid of having one of those hard rubber spheres that bounced around the room as if on steroids. Keep an eye—and both ears—on Kerry Politzer, a composer and player who's already well-formed and gaining momentum.

Visit Kerry Politzer on the web.


Track Listing: Rhodes Rage; Paloma; The End?; Hya; After the Smoke, Memories; Propulsion; Labyrinth; Falling Through the Cracks; Super Ball; And Away We Go....

Personnel: Kerry Politzer: piano, compositions; Andrew Rathburn: tenor and soprano saxophone; Chris Higgins: bass; George Colligan: drums.

Title: Labyrinth | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Polisonic


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Around The Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Around The Horn
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Funk 'n' Feathers" CD/LP/Track Review Funk 'n' Feathers
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "In the Still of the Night" CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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