Amazon.com Widgets

Brian Landrus: Forward (2010)

By Published: | 2,644 views
Brian Landrus: Forward How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Forward, multi-instrumentalist Brian Landrus' first album, begins by looking back—with a version of Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Ask Me Now." This is, perhaps, a nod of recognition to past masters but Landrus' arrangement adds a freshness made even more effective by his use of the baritone sax as the lead instrument. The rest of the album, which was recorded in 2007, features Landrus' original compositions, with equally inventive arrangements, and makes it clear that he's a player to watch.

Landrus plays baritone sax, alto flute, and bass clarinet—an unusual and intriguing set of instruments that rarely take lead roles in contemporary jazz but which he plays with such warmth and precision that there is never cause to question their centrality across the album's nine tunes. The baritone is especially successful. On "Ask Me Now" it infuses the tune with a real richness of sound, creating a strong center around which Michael Cain
Michael Cain
Michael Cain
b.1966
piano
weaves some delightful piano. On "The Stream," a more straight-ahead composition, Landrus' baritone duets beautifully with the tenor of George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
. "Interpretations" is a solo baritone piece on which the sax's tone is exceptionally warm, rich, and precise, investing the composition with a real humanity. One minor criticism—it's too short.

The alto flute and bass clarinet are featured on two tunes apiece and Landrus produces intriguing work with each of them. The clarinet on "Forward" is particularly effective during interplay with Allan Chase's alto sax and Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer
b.1979
trumpet
's trumpet. "Destination" is credited jointly to its five players as an improvised piece. Landrus plays alto flute, while guest musicians Palmer and Chase join drummer Rakalam Bob Moses
Bob Moses
Bob Moses
b.1948
drums
and percussionist Tupac Mantilla to complete the group. The two alto instruments trade some interesting phrases, but sadly they tend to be overwhelmed by the percussion, which is too high in the mix. However, this is a minor failing given the otherwise very high standard of production across the album.

Forward moves with confidence from free-form to bop to straight-ahead tunes. Landrus' playing and arranging skills are impressive and his core band members are tight and inventive. The album heralds the arrival of a strong new writing and performing talent.

Track Listing: Ask Me Now; The Stream; Shadows; To Love and Grow; Classification; Forward; Beauty of Change; Interpretations; Destination.

Personnel: Brian Landrus: baritone sax, bass clarinet, alto flute; Michael Cain: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Rakalam Bob Moses: drums; Tupac Mantilla: percussion; George Garzone: tenor sax (2, 7); Allan Chase: alto sax (6, 9); Jason Palmer: trumpet (5, 6, 9).

Record Label: Cadence Jazz Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?