Jon Wirtz releases Tourist
Artist: Jon Wirtz
From Colorado comes Classical Jazz Pianist Jon Wirtz who just released his latest effort entitled ‘Tourist” in 2013. Right from the start it might be easy to just categorize WIrtz as straight ahead Jazz Piano player and write him off as the newest trending around his area. It wouldn’t be wise, though. Sure, if you listen to some of his more straight forward Jazz tunes within this 10 song line-up “Politico” “Camouflage” that’s the impression you would likely get. However there is a method to his madness. There are some really good arrangements on Tourist that really step outside the traditional modern Jazz music boundaries. No doubt there’s a few tracks that really go against the grain here but this really open up the album. This enhances the listening experience rather than limit it. From Gospel-Souls Gratitude, to the blistering solo guitar riffs on “Despite Appearances (All is Well) “ and the almost Folksy charm of “Country” you see what I’m talking about. “In The Body” is another interesting movement with it’s interesting yet free form flow. Some of the above is a big of a welcome curveball for me, but many will love this approach. Wirtz is obviously experienced at performing and writing music, but it’s the combination of all of the above that makes him so unique. I mean, there is nothing here that really seems all that original or fresh until you listen to album from start to finish. Here the true genius of Wirtz shines through. Perhaps that is why Wirtz is on our Radar screens to begin with. Forgive me if I’m talking in circles – but some bands can deliver music that’s pretty straight forward, conservative and very simple yet brilliant at the same time. One must never forget it’s never as easy as it looks or sounds. Let’s leave all that to the experienced professionals. Like so many before him Wirtz makes it look easy. However in lieu of his amazing musical personality and impressive depth it almost feels as if Wirtz is on to something.
Tourist is a one of a kind collection of songs that’s closely tied to classical earthy Jazz with a shot of unknown. Wirtz boldly goes where other Jazz artists don’t. When ‘Tourist” runs it’s course you walk away feeling it stands out from other forgetful artists.
In close Wirtz is a powerful artist who is not afraid to push the envelope, ask the hard question or go where other artists won’t try to go. True some will misunderstand his message or get a bit fended by the direction, while others will praise him for going there. Either way Jon Wirtz is not to be underestimated in any way, shape, or form.
BANDCAMP Link – jonwirtzmusic.bandcamp.com/album/tourist
by Joseph Crowder edited by Heather Savage