I had the chance to meet up with Tower of Power tenor sax soloist, Tom Politzer, after their show at the 2023 Nice Jazz Festival. We had a great conversation that you’re sure to enjoy.
Early Musical Influences and Journey
Tom Politzer began his musical journey with the clarinet at the age of eight. He credits his early classical training with helping him develop a strong foundation in music theory and technique. His transition to the saxophone happened naturally, as the allure of this instrument’s expressive capabilities drew him in.
Joining Tower of Power
Tom’s dream of becoming a professional musician took a significant leap forward when he joined Tower of Power, a band known for their distinctive funk and R&B sound. He describes the opportunity as a dream come true and a humbling experience. His remarkable talent and dedication to his craft paved the way for him to become the band’s tenor sax soloist.
The Tower of Power Experience
Tom elaborates on what it’s like to be a part of Tower of Power. He emphasizes the importance of teamwork and the ability to listen to one another as key elements in the band’s success. The collective groove and synergy among the band members are what make Tower of Power’s music so infectious.
Funk Saxophone Sound
One of the most intriguing aspects of the interview was Tom’s insights into the unique sound of the funk saxophone. He explains that funk saxophone playing requires a different approach compared to other genres. It’s all about being in the pocket, locking in with the rhythm section, and creating a tight, syncopated groove that gets people moving.
Importance of Practice
Tom stresses the importance of practice in achieving proficiency on the saxophone. He reveals that he practiced diligently for hours every day during his formative years, and this commitment to practice continues to be a crucial part of his life. He also talks about the significance of listening to and emulating great saxophonists to develop your own style.
Tom Politzer’s journey from a young clarinet player to becoming the tenor sax soloist of Tower of Power has been a remarkable one. He provides valuable insights into the world of funk saxophone playing, emphasizing the importance of practice, teamwork, and groove. His story serves as a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and a deep love for music.