Musical director Glenn Crytzer’s background includes both classical music and jazz. He earned his Bachelor of Music in classical composition from the Florida State University in 2003 and a Master of Music in classical composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2006. Crytzer’s classical works have been programmed by the American Modern Ensemble, the Hachidori Duo, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra and more. In 2005 he was awarded a BMI Student Composer Award for his Orchestral piece “Nocturne Fantasy.”
While a college student, Crytzer took up swing dance as a hobby. Through dance, he became interested in classic jazz and took up the banjo. In 2005, he founded the Any Measure Jazz Band at the Cleveland Institute of Music; a band which allowed Crytzer and his colleagues, all studying classical music, to learn about performing early jazz. After a move to Seattle in 2006, Crytzer founded the Syncopators and took up the guitar in order to add swing era music to the band’s repertoire, which at that time focused solely on 20’s “Hot Music” and New Orleans Jazz. In 2008 Crytzer founded his Blue Rhythm Band which expanded the Syncopators to a full 13 piece, swing era big band.
In addition to his role as bandleader with the Syncopators and the Blue Rhythm Band, Crytzer has performed as a sideman on guitar and/or banjo with the Solomon Douglas Swingtet, the Greg Ruby Quartet, The Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, Bria Skonberg’s Century Ballroom All-stars, the Echos of Harlem Orchestra, Casey MacGill and Friends, the Careless Lovers, Meschiya Lake, Dave Holo, and many others.
Glenn Crytzer’s album releases include: Chasin’ the Blues (2009), Harlem Mad (2011), Skinny Minne (Live 2012) and his latest 2013 album, Focus Pocus.
“Focus Pocus” is the debut album from the Savoy Seven – the newest project from internationally acclaimed swing bandleader Glenn Crytzer. This album contains 7 songs, all composed and arranged by Crytzer and performed by some the finest young musicians playing vintage jazz today.
On “Focus Pocus” Crytzer recreates those authentic jazz sounds that came from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, making it almost hard to believe these are modern-day originals penned by the artist himself.
This album is so much fun that you shouldn’t be able to buy it over-the-counter. It needs to be locked away where not just anybody can get their hands on it, and where you should have to register as a qualified swing and jazz band music connoisseur before you are allowed to add it to your library.
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Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven is totally compelling, enjoyable, and outrageously awesome, from the ever-so-tasty title track, and album opener “Focus Pocus” to the sizzling “My Blue Apples,” through the slower and mesmerizing “All I Can give You Is A Melody”, to the exciting guitar escapades of “A case Of The Blues.” I personally don’t think vintage jazz gets any more satisfying and exciting than a tight, powerful swing band, and that’s what Glenn Crytzer has got here, with 7 top-of-the-line players and his brilliantly convincing original compositions.
The old big band masters would be proud of what Crytzer has achieved here. This is today’s contemporary swing band, delivering the classic big band style with original material. And it works big time, with dynamics, energy, authenticity and a sense of humor, too.
Glenn Crytzer’s music has a lot moving parts that demand great precision, and what you’ll hear is the tightest, most disciplined swing band out there, without ever being clinical in their executions. The level of musicianship with the Savoy Seven is absolute and undeniable. Yet they can still swing ‘free and loose’ like Basie did!
“Focus Pocus” just jumps out at you from the speakers, with plenty of excellent solos, upbeat swing and maybe just a touch of good fun. This album is pure class from the first note to the last. And whoever said “They don’t make ‘em like they used to!”, just ain’t heard Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven!
THE SAVOY SEVEN ARE:
Mike Davis, trumpet
Evan Arntzen, clarinet/ tenor sax
Craig Flory, alto/tenor/soprano saxes
Solomon Douglas, piano
Glenn Crytzer, guitar/vocal
Jen Hodge, bass
Julian MacDonough, drums
Compositions and Arrangements by Glenn Crytzer (Copyright 2011-2013 – All Rights Reserved)
Recorded by Joe Reineke at Orbit Audio on 8/13/13 (orbitaudio.com)
Mixed by Gary Mula at the Bani-Love Studio (facebook.com/thebanilove)
Mastered by Steve Turnidge at Ars Divina (arsdivina.com)
Cover Art by James Penfield (cargocollective.com/jamespenfield)
Cover Photograph by Lynn Redmile (lynnredmile.com)
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