It has been almost five years since keyboardist Lao Tizer has granted us with CD access to his unique skills as a jazz musician. However, Lao has not been sitting around idle with nothing to do. His last album entitled Golden Soul received critical acclaim as one of the best recordings of its kind and also placed his talent on the smooth jazz radar screen as a positive smooth jazz influence. In addition, Lao has been in definite demand on the concert and festival circuit, an activity keeping him quite busy in between tenures in the recording studio. But in spite of his hectic schedule, Lao Tizer has released a new album entitled Diversify, a CD that will continue the process of illumination and enlightenment for old and new smooth jazz aficionados who have been exposed to his melody making skills.
Diversify is a CD containing 14 original tracks, all of which have been primarily ramroded by Tizer. This time out, Lao provides a different perspective on his skills as a keyboardist with some varying degrees of augmentation. He has traded his patented electric keyboard for a more strategic and dynamic instrument by adding the grand piano to his repertoire of style, which is also synonymous to the album’s title. In order to encapsulate Diversify even more, Tizer has chosen to include some incredible musicians for this fresh new approach, especially so with the addition of guitarist Chieli Minucci of Special EFX and violinist Karen Briggs, who was often heard backing up Yanni. Collectively, Tizer and his band of merry men as well as the inclusion of some special guests pushes Lao’s latest release to an entirely new level of influence.
The highs and lows of Diversify take listeners on a sojourn through varying degrees of influences. Tracks such as "A Night in the City" and the title track are spontaneous and rhythmic, while a few of the album's songs flow in a more subtle direction. Other tracks on the CD provide an introspective look at Lao’s creative input as he intuitively includes Latin, R&B and neo soul dynamics as a part of his overall intent. As one examines the specified flavor of Diversify, Tizer is not single minded in the manner he has chosen to highlight himself as a composer and musician. Although he is best described as a smooth jazz artist, Lao Tizer operates outside the box on Diversify, what is just as profound is his skillful and strategic utilization of his sidemen. In every instance, there is something likable about his arrangements on all 14 tracks of Diversify.
Lao Tizer is one of the best-kept secrets in the realm of smooth jazz. He is an incredible musician and has a highly evolved sense of perspective when weaving his intuitive creative spirit into a musical blanket. His latest CD opens the window of opportunity to view Tizer in an entirely new light, one that provides a panoramic array of musical delight through 14 tracks of conveyance. Diversify will change your perspective, titillate your listening palate and satisfy your desire for a healthy sense of balance in your quest for value added jazz.