4.5 out of 5 stars
I hope there is at least one more snowy Sunday this season, because I can’t think of a better album to accompany that kind of morning. Pianist Jon Wirtz has played with a slew of local and national musicians, and for the last five years he’s studied under Grammy nominated pianist/composer and jazz educator Art Lande.
All of that experience shows here as Wirtz puts forth on Tourist an incredibly rich album steeped in jazz that is far beyond his years. From the serene beauty of the opening track “Slumber” to the Brubeck-esque “Politico,” to the hip-hop laced “Gratitude,” Wirtz showcases a massively vast range, virtuoso phrasing and impeccable taste.
“Camouflage For A Sunny Day,” in fact, shows a lot of range all in one song. From the haunting beauty of the opening minute, to the free-form feeling of the main solo, Wirtz straddles the difficult territory of a live jazz feel with a studio recording. Throughout the album, Wirtz makes even the most highfalutin’ pieces accessible and approachable, without diminishing their importance. He’s not dumbing it down, he’s opening his pieces up, and in doing so he’s bound to attract more listeners than someone with a more classic approach to the material.
:: Soiled Dove Underground :: April 13 ::