The music of pianist and composer Anthony Deutsch doesn’t fit neatly into any one category. It’s jazz, it’s pop, it’s singer-songwriter. And Deutsch, who grew up in Port Washington but is now based in Milwaukee, embraces all of those labels.
For the past decade or so, Deutsch has been well known around town as both a solo and session musician. But tonight he releases his first album, Father Sky. The rest of the band, which is also known as Father Sky, are bassist John Christensen and drummer Devin Drobka. The album drops tonight at the Villa Terrace Museum.
Deutsch says he wanted to learn how to play piano when he first heard "Carol of the Bells" on a cheap 61 key Casio keyboard as a kid. After he got a piano, he learned many Beatles songs, old school pop, Stevie Wonder, and others that just "opened up this whole avenue of world music."
These diverse influences are all present in his new album. "It was cool to take all of these (singer-songwriter) compositions and throw them at this trio that we've been cultivating a sort of chemistry as a trio - and (Father Sky) is what came out of it," Deutsch explains.
He notes that he has quite the critical eye and a lot of insecurities about his first album. But the response has been positive and Deutsch describes it as "a very honest album." One track in particular, "Within Me, Within You," embodies an anthem of oneness and his biggest goal as a musician: to create a space for people to feel inspired to be kind to themselves and others.
"It's a lofty goal, but it's a worthy goal," says Deutsch.