The Trio of OZ -][- Self-Titled – [OZmosis Records, 2010]
Pulling jazz out of the museum and pushing it back into the here and now is a tough gig, and one that most jazz musicians don’t tend to bother with much these days. Learning the form, even in its most purely imitative incarnation, is incredibly time-consuming and demands both immense skill and ample discipline.
Jazz is a music that has always been most effective when its vision was most radical, however. Be-bop, modal, third-stream, the earliest examples of what came to be called “fusion”—all of these forms-within-the-form were born of a restless irreverence and a desire to make the music relevant to the moment and the era in which it is being played. Traditionalists have trouble with this notion. They should just keep quiet and listen to whatever period they favor, however.
Pianist Rachel Z has approached her work with a fearlessness that implies an ever-present creative wanderlust, one that has served her incredibly well. She’s worked with Wayne Shorter and Steps Ahead, and brought her abundant musicality to Peter Gabriel’s stages across the world during his “Up” tour. Z has never been an acoustic purist, often experimenting with electric keyboards and synths. Continue reading