by Lao TizerLao Tizer


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Myopic jazz purists believe that commercializing jazz in any way, shape or form is the epitome of evil, but commercialism does have its place in jazz as long as it is well done. Truth be told, commercialism has been going on in jazz for many years; when Artie Shaw featured Helen Forrest and other vocalists in the '30s and '40s, he did it to sell more records but was tasteful about it -- and that's the key: tastefulness. Charles Earland and Grover Washington, Jr. were masters of tasteful commercialism; Kenny G, Dave Koz and Najee, on the other hand, have provided an abundance of tasteless schlock. Thankfully, keyboardist/pianist Lao Tizer's Diversify is an example of tasteful commercialism. No one will mistake this crossover jazz/fusion offering for straight-ahead bop, but Tizer's blend of jazz and pop (which sometimes draws on funk and world music) is music that -- for all its accessibility -- has substance. Compositionally, Tizer's influences on this 77-minute CD include, among others, Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny, David Sanborn and Joe Sample (who has also influenced Tizer as a soloist). Although Tizer maintains a strong sense of groove, Diversify has more meat on its bones than 95-percent of the stuff that smooth jazz/NAC stations are playing these days. Someone who has spent a lot of time listening to Joe Sample's Carmel or Pat Metheny's Letter from Home can appreciate where Tizer is coming from on Diversify, which is not to say that this 2007 release is in a class with Carmel or Letter from Home. Those albums are masterpieces, whereas Diversify is merely good. But good is nothing to be ashamed of, and Diversify is well worth hearing if one is looking for commercial pop-jazz that has a brain.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/03/2007
Label: Lao Tizer Music Inc
UPC: 0805859060225
catalogNumber: 90602
Rank: 138167


  1. A Night in the City
  2. Uptown
  3. Diversify
  4. Flow
  5. A Hui Hou
  6. Olivas Adobe
  7. Summer Dayz
  8. Autumn Sky
  9. Improvisation
  10. Up a Notch
  11. Namaste
  12. November
  13. Rapture
  14. Ella's First Light

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lao Tizer   Primary Artist,Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Vocal Percussion
Karen Briggs   Violin
Munyungo Jackson   Percussion,Conga
Chieli Minucci   Acoustic Guitar
Roberto Vally   Upright Bass
Ed Roth   Organ,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Andy Suzuki   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Jeff Kollman   Acoustic Guitar
Steve Nieves   Percussion,Castanets,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Carl McGregor   Keyboards
Michael McGuffey   Trumpet
Christopher Maloney   Bass

Technical Credits

Chieli Minucci   Programming
Jeff Kollman   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Jono Brown   drum programming
Steve Nieves   Arranger
Carl McGregor   Arranger,Programming
Brian Porizek   Art Direction
Lao Tizer   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Shane Gaalaas   Arranger
Christopher Maloney   Arranger

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