Tourist – Jon Wirtz

Written by on June 20, 2013 in CD / DVD Releases, June 20, 2013, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on Tourist – Jon Wirtz

Jon Wirtz

Album: Tourist (2013)

JWJon Wirtz who plays Jazz Piano has been making quite a name for himself musically. He has a string of albums out now and Over the past few years he has performed mainly as a sideman, having worked with Grammy winning producers like Malcolm Burn and John Macy on multiple occasions, platinum selling producer Kyle Jones, and shared the stage with artists including Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Melissa Etheridge, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Matt Morris, Charlie Sexton and even Justin Timberlake. In addition to performing with Matt Morris on The Late Show with David Letterman, Wirtz has also appeared on CBS Early Morning Show’s 2nd Cup Cafe, Ellen (the Ellen DeGeneres Show), and Lopez Tonight (George Lopez). For the past 5 years he has studied under Art Lande, an internationally respected jazz educator and Grammy nominated pianist/composer. His latest release “Tourist” was released in 2013 and the result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle Smooth Jazz artist, no Wirtz does that and more. In-fact Wirtz could even be classed as a 4 genera artist: Jazz, Americana, R&B and Fusion Jazz. Wirtz has way too much precision and clarity to live in the shadows of overly-predictable Rippington-esqe Smooth Jazz. Indeed this is clearly evident in songs like “Watching the World wake Up, Country, Tourist and Awakening. which methodically ups the ante to a very respectable level of catchy musical expression and craftsmanship that transcends typical pigeonholing. Enter the amazing line-up of musicians makes the CD even more. The music is also commercially viable with a fresh sound and an entertaining vibe that makes a real connection with the listener. All pieces within this album hold the attention span perfectly. Music reminds me of a cross between Jon Dahlander, Liz Story and Kathleen Ryan. It’s got the flipped out stuff, it’s got the melodic stuff, it’s got the make you wanna’ cry stuff. What’s more: this 10 song line-up comes loaded and appeals to many listeners with a wide variety of musical styles.

Criticism: no copy write date anywhere on the package – quite unorthodox. No pics of that artist in question either. 10 songs seems a bit short to me as well.
Conclusion: Jon Wirtz has carved a marketable niche for himself around Colorado and beyond. I would anticipate even more marketable success down the road at the international level. “Tourist” is one release that gives us a musical snapshot that is highly original, uplifting and dare I say breathtaking in scope.

Final Rating: 8/10

Written by Written by Michael Rand
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