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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Diagonal: A Tribute to Durval Ferreira'
Artist - Kerry Politzer

For those not in the know, Kerry Politzer is a Portland-based jazz pianist and composer.

She received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied improvisation and composition with jazz guru Charlie Banacos.

In 1996, Kerry was one of six finalists in the American Pianists Association’s 3rd Biennial Jazz Piano Competition. Her composition Rhodes Rage won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition.

Another tune, Begin The Baiao, won Third Prize, Jazz Category in the 2000 Mid-Atlantic Song Competition and an Honorable Mention in the 2000 John Lennon Songwriting Competition.

The pianist has released six CDs as a leader, including Blue in Blue, which featured saxophonist Donny McCaslin and was termed a “first-rate jazz outing” by

Kerry has also been a featured sideman on albums of George Colligan, Laura Dreyer, and the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble. Furthermore, Kerry’s 2005 CD Labyrinth was a finalist for Best Jazz Album in the 2007 Independent Music Awards.

Now the highly-lauded pianist releases her sixth jazz album entitled Diagonal: A Tribute to Ferreira.

A modern tribute to the late Brazilian jazz guitarist/composer Durval Ferreira, for this quite wondrous new album - which features eight reworked Ferreira compositions as well as three originals inspired by him - the pianist has assembled a fine cast of sidemen: John Nastos (Dianne Schuur, Esperanza Spalding) on saxophone, flute, and clarinet; noted pianist George Colligan, here on drums; Seattle bassist Tim Carey (Jovino Santos Neto); Ben Graves on acoustic and electric guitars; and Simon Lucas on Brazilian percussion.

1. 'São Salvador'
2. 'Chorinho No. 2'
3. 'The Day It Rained'
4. 'Diagonal'
5. 'O Gato'
6. 'Moça Flor'
7. 'Batida Diferente'
8. 'Tema Pro Durval'
9. 'E Nada Mais'
10. 'Cliché'
11. 'Estamos Aí'

After transcribing 30 of his compositions, the pianist chose melodies made famous by Sarah Vaughan, Sergio Mendes, Leny Andrade, and others and from the off, the perky, flighty 'São Salvador' showcases perfectly just what the listener is to expect.

The equally attentive and cheerfully lively 'Chorinho No. 2' (a contrafact written to Ferreira’s original 'Chorinho No. 1') stunningly highlights Nastos’ beautiful clarinet playing and that's backed seamlessly by the exquisitely reharmonized 'The Day It Rained' (which also adds a lovely flute part infused with Politzer’s hushed vocals).

The fervently enthused title track, 'Diagonal,' features an animated bass line and electric guitar solo, whilst the buoyantly happy 'O Gato' is a masterful tour-de-force brought forth by Nastos' saxophone (the title references Ferreira’s nickname when he performed with a group called Os Gatos).

Next up is 'Moça Flor,' a free flowing bout of Latin hipsway at its finest, and that's backed by the drum and sax-led beauty 'Batida Diferente' (transformed here into an uptempo, 7/8 whirlwind), and then comes the track that truly highlights Politzer's dulcet piano work, 'Tema Pro Durval.'

The album then rounds out with the sultry, late night underground club vibe of 'E Nada Mais,' the sanguine cheer of 'Cliché,' and then finally comes to a close with one of Ferreira’s most popular Brazilian jazz compositions, 'Estamos Aí.'

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