Herbie Kritzer — Lounge Rebel
((Not on label) no#, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01
Bay Area musician Herbie Kritzer’s previous (and only) release was 2002’s The Tree Lizard that packed quite a little punch despite clocking in at just under a half hour. Fortunately this disk gives us more (though these nine songs still don’t crack the forty minute mark) of Kritzer’s infectious and wry take on 60s small combo jazz. If The Tree Lizard blended Eric Satie and Vince Guaraldi, this one has a Stan Getz-does-lounge vibe. The recording is again very much a DIY affair though this doesn’t hurt the songs that don’t need a big sound to make an impression. Rather, Kritzer employs a jazzy sensibility that at times evokes Stan Getz and the 60s Brazilian scene (there’s even a track called “Dream of Getz”) and at others elicits a jaunty bouncing gait (“Lovely, Sublime, Wounded”) that fits in with the cartoon-y songs from The Tree Lizard. Kritzer’s ace in the hole is a fluid melodicism that makes every piece a charming winner, best seen in the opener “Hell Is Other People,” that reveals Kritzer to be a composer, player, and arranger of considerable sophistication. Kritzer is known as a Stick player though I didn’t hear anything but programmed drums and keyboards on these tracks. That said, he gets a lot of timbral mileage out of his setup, from breathy sax, mellow synth bass, jazzy kit drums, and even monophonic synth leads. There’s something really nice about unassuming little disks like this that beg for repeated listening. Keep it up, Herbie!
Related artist(s): Herbie Kritzer
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