"Kazzrie Jaxen's 'PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER' is a blazing
comeback full of wild solo piano, doubled and even
multiplied by six in the studio. This unusual approach
of overdubbing expresses the influence of Lennie
Tristano. No matter how many pianos are
playing at a time, there's never the slightest hint as to
which one's doing the solo, which one forms the basic
track, or if there's one instrument added only for
flourish. It's all gearing into one whole. Kazzrie's
arms and hands are functioning like they should, let
that be clear. And she's playing like it might all end
On headphones, the title track is a maelstrom of
overwhelming stereo sounds. Imagine six pianos,
thundering down a roller coaster, under the wild
energy of the woman that's pushing them down. Now
that's Kazzrie Jaxen. Likeably crazy, that's for sure.
But also very clever. Because how does one even conceive
such studio compositions? You must be sure what exactly
it is that you want by "take one", because you will
need space for five pianos to come. That comes close
to genius. Oh, yes, and a likeable madness.
Just listen to the singing on "bahdeebahdu", a duet with
singer John Roth. Together they start giggling by the
time one of them should take a solo, and soon they
burst out in unstoppable laughter. No question about
it, this piece of silliness is the definitive version!
But it makes you worry a bit if all will end so well
during a live performance. How crazy is this woman in
person? I am secretly curious to know and find out."
Remco Takken, www.kindamuzik.net, translated
Hi! I'm Kazzrie.
This music comes straight out of my life
experience. It represents the evolutionary
process we are all going through at this
point in history. It begins in the
2-dimensional world which is personal,
visible, rhythmic. Then it bursts into laughter,
which the poet Hafiz calls "the soul waking
up". The laughter serves as a doorway into
the multi-dimensional realm, which is
universal, invisible, not bound by time or
This CD is a dimensional adventure you can
experience. People have emailed me
saying it's inspired them to create art,
that their hair tingles when they listen
to it, that tears start streaming. . .
and then they're laughing. . .
PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER is an expression of
the state of "madness" we're all going through
as we release the "old" and embrace the "new",
as we evolve into what Barbara Marx Hubbard
has named "The Universal Human, an emergent
species coming out of and evolving from Homo
sapiens." The world is presently experiencing
the chaos that comes from this evolutionary
process. It is affecting us personally and
This CD - after all the wild music - ends on
a unison "C", as if the heart and mind have
come together to "see" in a new way! This
wasn't planned, it just happened in the
improvising. That's how it feels to live
through the chaos - you feel like you're
coming apart, and you are! Then you're
put back together again in a new way,
more unified and harmonious. You get to
enjoy that for a while, and then it happens
all over again.
PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER is an expression
of surrender. The chaos and order become
equally beautiful in the surrendering,
as we actively engage in our evolution.
Moving toward unity, we begin by embracing
the extremes of duality - dissonance as
well as harmony - and discover a richer
connection with all of Creation.
The CD can be listened to with or without
headphones. Listening with good quality
headphones in a comfortable setting (lying
down) will intensify the inner journey and
multi-dimensional experience. The treble
and bass settings should be straight in the
middle - just as it was recorded - nothing
added or taken away. The listener should
open to the adventure, trusting the process.
Each person will experience it differently.
The quality of the listening equipment will
make a big difference in how the music can be
What follows is basic press release info
about me, the CD, and the way it was created.
But first. . .
There are two amazing poems printed inside
the CD, relating to the music, by Mark
Weber and Eli Goodwin. I want to thank these
two wordsmiths for being part of this.
(Mark is also a Jazz DJ extraordinaire
for KUNM in Albuquerque NM, and Eli is
a photographer who shows his work in
Cambridge, Mass.) Also, special thanks to
Andrew Harvey, mystic and passionate author,
whose translations of Rumi's poems have
guided me through wild waters. One of
these poems, from the book "Love's Fire",
bursts forth in track #9.
Deepest thanks to John Grabowski for
amazing liner notes (check out his
reviews on Amazon.com - he's written
over a hundred!) And to Dana Duke, for
great recording and graphics at BigTwig
Studios in Roscoe, NY (www.bigtwig.com).
(Dana's also a world class photographer,
John Roth, vocalist and fellow giggler on
"bahdeebahdu", is actually a master carpenter
and creator of outrageously beautiful and
humorous furniture. He doesn't have a
website yet, but you can email him at
Warren Muller and RJ Thornburgh own the
studio in Philadelphia called "bahdeebahdu"
that inspired the song (and the laughter!)
Check out their website to see dazzling
light sculptures and interior design,
The theme of "PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER" is re-creation.
The music was created in three recording sessions in the
time period from 1997-2003.
"COUNTERPOINT" consists of seven two-piano improvisations,
and corresponds to a poem written by Mark Weber (printed
inside the CD).
"ADAM AND EVE, TAKE 2" is a blues song entitled
"bahdeebahdu", sung and played by Kazzrie with vocalist
John Roth. It turns into contagious laughter.
"RE-CREATION" is an extended improvisation entitled
"Prayers and Mad Laughter" which is 33 minutes long. It
has six pianos and voices, travels through many different
textures and moods, and corresponds to a poem written by
Eli Goodwin (printed inside the CD).
In his liner notes, John Grabowski writes: "Cosmologists
have recently decided everything in the universe is
composed of tiny 'strings' that by way of vibration morph
into anything and everything around us. I don't know if
that really describes the universe, but it certainly does
describe the music here. It keeps changing as you're
listening to it, into things familiar, things not. . .The
music on this CD is immense, but intimate at the same
time. Organized and chaotic, bizarre and familiar, silly
and sublime, structured and free -- why should there be
"The experience of improvising 'Re-Creation' was primal",
says Kazzrie. "I felt as if an ancient and wild wail
suddenly rose up inside of me. I experienced a primordial
connection to feminine energy and to the Earth -- whales,
wolves, birds, oceans, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes --
the terrible raw beauty of birth. I was going through my
own personal healing and rebirth, and improvising opened a
dimensional doorway through which I experienced a
Kazzrie Jaxen, formerly known as Liz Gorrill,
left New York City and her life as a jazz pianist ten
years ago, when she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome. She moved to upstate NY, thinking her life
as a musician was over because her hands and arms were
so weak she could no longer play. She spent two years
in solitude, having the extraordinary experience of
healing under the tutelage of Mother Nature, who became
her primary physician and master teacher.
Her present work merges the multiple streams of her
musical experience: a background in classical music
as a child, a twenty-year immersion in jazz improvisation,
and the transformative power of vibration as taught to
her by Nature. Her music is spontaneously improvised,
but not stylistically restricted to a particular genre.
Kazzrie's decision to change her name came from the
profound sense that she had literally been given a new
life. In 2002 she created a one-woman show, "Kazzrie In
Boogie And Blue", as a rite of passage. She combined
original music, art, poetry and stories that celebrated
the challenges and humor of her life as Liz Gorrill,
bringing in the new energy for her life as Kazzrie Jaxen.
She performed the show in 2002 and 2003 in New York and
North Carolina ("true and rare artistry"; "a dazzling
explosion of talent!") and hopes to bring it to a wider
audience, as she feels it conveys and inspires the
experience of re-creation on a personal and universal
Kazzrie has performed in the US and in Europe as a
soloist and with her jazz duos and trios. She has
recorded with the Jazz Records and New Artists labels.
She has founded a "birthing" modality to support the
evolutionary process we are in, where people lie
underneath the piano as she connects with their energy
and plays into their bodies. She has studied and taught
energy diagnosis with Meredith Young-Sowers at The
Stillpoint School For Advanced Energy Healing in NH.