|Pianist Kerry Politzer|
(510 NW 11th Ave, click here for tickets) for 5 DOLLARS(I don't know, maybe that's a lot of money for Portland but you could probably find 5 dollars IN YOUR COUCH CUSHIONS), you can hear the wonderful pianist, composer, and mother of my son, Kerry Politzer. Kerry doesn't get to play often; she's mostly taking care of 3 year old Liam, freelancing as a writer, or doing schoolwork(she's pursuing a writing degree at Portland State University). However, Kerry is so profoundly talented that she needs little effort to bring technical flair and creative brilliance to the keyboard. Joining her tomorrow night will be the great Eugene native Chris Higgins on bass and George Colligan (yours truly) on drums. Kerry will begin the night.
Second set will be something completely different: I will be performing as a singer-songwriter for the first time in my whole life. (Some of you are probably thinking, "What the Freak?") Yes, I've been working on songs with lyrics since 2010. I started by setting some of my sister Dana's poems to music. Eventually, I became confident in my own lyrics to set them to music as well. If you've been following my blog, you might be aware that I've done projects where I used other vocalists to perform my songs. (I'm still working on an album featuring vocalist Debbie Deane. I hope it will come out later in the year.) Although it was amazing to have other singers, really trained vocalists, perform my music, it's actually easier if one sings one's songs oneself. (Say that three times fast...)
During the fall, I was on the road in Europe for a few weeks with the Jack DeJohnette group. Instead of spending my time watching the news in German or reruns of "The Cosby Show" in Norwegian, I spent any down time either running or writing songs. So I have a stockpile of new tunes. Tomorrow night, I will present a small sampling of fresh material. It's not really straight ahead jazz, per se, however, it's jazz influenced and there will be some kick ass grooves and solos.
Helping me out will be two of my top students at Portland State University. Jon Lakey, who will play electric bass, is actually a very talented acoustic bassist, pianist, vocalist, and occasional drummer. Brandon Braun is a very precocious drummer, and has endless potential as a musician. I'm very excited about this gig and I hope you will come by and hear for yourself.
I must admit that I'm not the most accomplished vocalist; however, I have been studying with a wonderful voice teacher in Portland. His name is Daniel Weiskopf and he teaches a method called "Speech Level Singing." It's actually done wonders for me. Weiskopf is highly trained in this method and he's very focused during the lessons. He's also a great musician himself; he has a band called Age Sex Occupation that's done some touring around the U.S.