Keyboardist Composer Lao Tizer Broadens His Jazz Muse on "Diversify"


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By the time keyboardist-composer Lao Tizer was 17, he had already released three self-produced, self-released solo piano and keyboard albums. Being an overachiever who ambitiously strives to grow, stretch and achieve new heights comes naturally to him. Tizer is now set to release an expansive and accomplished sophomore outing with his own band. Diversify will be unveiled nationally on April 3rd via his Yse Records label, which is distributed by the ARTizen Music Group. Tizer wrote fourteen new songs for the sumptuous opus that clocks in at over 77-minutes of inventive contemporary jazz that encompasses fusion, classical, World Music, Latin and instrumental pop tapestries. He also co-produced the record, with his long-time guitarist Jeff Kollman seated in the producer's chair.

Radio was recently serviced the first taste of Diversify, the funky, hooky, accessible urban-powered “Uptown," a song Tizer and his band use to close their dynamic concerts. Although he records under his own name, Tizer is quick to emphasize the group aspect of the project and the invaluable contributions the band makes to his music both in the recording studio and on stage. He humbly shares the spotlight equally with Kollman (guitars, programming), Steve Nieves (vocals, saxophones and percussion), Christopher Maloney (bass) and Drew Megna (drums). Special guests on the album include guitarist Chieli Minucci (Special EFX), violinist Karen Briggs (Yanni, Chaka Khan), percussionist D. Munyungo Jackson (Sting, Stevie Wonder) and saxophonist Andy Suzuki (Michael Franks, David Benoit). While diverse, the songs are seamlessly bound by a thread that keeps the collection cohesive. As a composer, Tizer deftly dispenses simple intoxicating pop melodies, astute and complex compositions that incorporate a variety of musical stylings, fun and robust R&B-funk jams, and beautiful, sensitive moments that touch and emote poetically.

“The music on the album represents what inspires me. It's a combination of influences including World Music, funk and intimate moments," explained Tizer. “The message behind the album is about being open to the music and the journeys it can take you on if you allow it. It represents diversity and the melding of composition and improvisation. It's the combination of both (composition and improvisation) that can elevate the musical experience from the mundane into something truly special."

Tizer's fiery, youthful and compelling concerts play a major part of what makes the artist a complete musician. He'll lead his band out to launch the push to support the album release on the concert trail on April 13th by opening for legends George Benson & Al Jarreau at the prestigious Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Florida.

A native of Boulder, Colorado, Tizer began his performing career early when as an enterprising 14 -year-old, he played at outdoor malls for tips to earn money to repay his parents for the money they loaned him to purchase a keyboard and P.A. System. The teenager started producing and selling albums, which is how he met his first manager. After moving to Los Angeles, Tizer met Minucci, who mentored the youth and produced his debut band recording, Golden Soul (2001). The disc spawned the popular radio single, “Her Poetry," a track that hit the Billboard and Radio & Records charts and garnered him a “Best New Artist" nomination at the 2002 National Smooth Jazz Awards. Additional information can be found at www.laotizer.com.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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