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About Lao Tizer

With more than five years since their last release,TheLao Tizer Bandhas taken the time to grow inevery aspect. Anupdated larger band is exploring some new methods on their upcoming CD/DVD combo,Songs From The Swinghouse:recorded live in just three days at Conway Studios in Hollywood, the band explores three cover tunes with vocalist, a firstforthe group, alongside original instrumental tracks, bringing them to new heights of excellence and exuberance.Featuring a thoughtful and at times surprising choice of tracks, while adding to an already stellar lineup of players with theaddition of a seasoned vocalist, this is an album that has set a new path for the band and its dedicated fans.Songs FromThe Swinghousefeatures eight blistering original instrumentals and three iconic classic rock songs with reimaginedarrangements. “We’ve never done anything with a vocalist and we’ve never done any cover songs, so this is the first timethat I decided to delve into that realm, to basically expand the scope of our music,” says Tizer.Critically acclaimed music-film director,Andy LaViolette(Snarky Puppy,Bokante, David Crosby, etc), documented the entire session in asimultaneous, 8-camera HD video shoot for the included DVD.From the 2007 albumDiversify, which showcased the multi-faceted richly textured musicality of an already celebratedcareer, to 2009’sPassagesin which the keyboardist and composer focused on a minimalist expression of his musicaljourney in a virtually solo piano recording with the barest of accompaniment, and then back to a pulsating full band on the2012 releaseDownbeat, this ensemble of world-renowned musicians has taken Tizer’s vision to a new level on the latestalbum. The jazz and world-fusion group now adds rock to its repertoire with a sizzling new collection of eleven songs.Hailing from Boulder, CO, with a career thatnow spans nine albums over nearly a quarter of a century–he was ateenage prodigy–Tizer is the son of hippies with a Russian-Jewish background, and the mix of that ethnic familyheritage, parental new age influence and growing up with the sights andsounds of ’80s and ’90s pop culture (alongsidethe music of the ’60s and ’70s he heard from his parents) have brought him to a place in his artistic life where he wasready to embrace a wider range of influences and stretch himself and his players to pulloff such an ambitious all my life.”If the choice of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On,” U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” and Cat Stevens’ “Sad Lisa” seemastonishing, Tizer’s arrangements render them almost entirely original. They are taken to the transcendent through thewarm and soulful vocals ofTita Hutchison, who sang with the likes of Michael McDonald, Rick Rubin, Michael Jackson,and Foreigner, among others.Hutchison joins Tizer’s regular collaborators who are celebrated in their own right:Chieli Minucci, the three-time Emmy-winning and Grammy® Award-nominated guitarist and composer; Grammy® Award-winning saxophonistEric Marienthal,who is a permanent member of the Chick Corea ElektricBand; longtime member and EWI/saxophonist/multi-instrumentalistSteve Nieves; and violinistKaren Briggs, who has graced the stage with Yanni, Diana Ross, Wu-TangClan, Chaka Khan and more. Tizer also credits the powerhouse rhythm section (bass players include Grammy® Award-nomineeRic FierabracciandCheikh NDoye, Grammy® Award-nominated drummerGene Coye, andpercussionistMunyungo Jackson) with underpinning the dynamic force and arrangements for the project.The group in fact stretches to 15 membersat times with the addition of a string quartet, horn section and a marimbaplayer. Just watching the video of “Metropolis” shows the vast ambitiousness of the undertaking, the concentration of somany musicians in the studio playing live together and feeding into work that was so much grander than the breathtakingindividual performances, while the sultry and intimate duet–just piano and violin–on “Forever Searching” reminds thelistener and viewer of the purity of Tizer’s jazz beginnings.”It wasall recorded live at Conway Studios,” Tizer says. “So this is as authentic as it could possibly be. It’s a star-studdedcast, a lot of pros, and they all came in with their A-game. We got just the right mix of players in the band at this time tomake thisparticular set of music come to life and be artistically deep in an accessible way. And that’s always what my
favorite music has been–well written, well composed, but also with that room to stretch, that’s the improvisation and thejazz of it.”Tizerpraises each musician for his and her contribution to the whole. Conceptually focused while always generous as acomposer, arranger and band-leader, Tizer producedSongs From The Swinghouseon his own and wrote all of theinstrumental tracks himself, aside from one co-write, “A Prayer For Unity” with the band’s other guitarist,Jeff Marshall.They wrote it just after the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, and the significance at this particular time amid current eventsis imperative for Tizer. “It’s a message that the world needs on a much more macro level, and music is one of those fewmediums that can bridge some gaps.”It’s also a nice counterpoint to the groups Gospel, funkified arrangement of U2’s, “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” the civilrights-inspired song that Tizer had loved since first hearing it in the movieIn The Name Of The Father. “Ramble On” was,says Tizer, “the one tune I wanted to do because I’m not sure that there’s any classic rock group more iconic than LedZeppelin, and I wanted asong that we could take and put our stamp on, which I felt really strongly that we could with thattune, take it to another place.” As for “Sad Lisa,” dedicated on the album to the late daughter of a friend, “I had CatStevens’ albumTea For The Tillermansince I was in high school, and right away I knew I could do something with that.”The evolution of the Lao Tizer Band is revealed joyously inSongs From The Swinghouse. Now incorporating a vocalistinto the recording and touring band, the road ahead isenthralling to the group’s founder. “I spent my whole life writinginstrumental music, and now I’m working on original material for the group including vocals.” Ultimately,LaoTizereschews being formulaic. “I try and just stay true to my muse and to useevery bit of my facility to create great musicthat hopefully has its own voice and continues to evolve as I continue to evolve as a person. It’s very reflective of me, it’sall I’ve done all my life.”