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The Brian Landrus Quartet: Traverse (2011)

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The Brian Landrus Quartet: Traverse How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Jazz fans often cite Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
1927 - 1996
sax, baritone
as the most recognized baritone saxophonist in jazz, but for most, the list stops there. Why the baritone saxophone is not a more popular instrument in jazz is uncertain; in the right hands, the instrument has a warmth and tonal beauty unlike any other.

Baritone saxophonist Brian Landrus is a rising star, with two Masters degrees in jazz composition and performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, He is also a winner of Downbeat Magazine's 2010 International Critics Poll.

In Traverse, one of two albums recorded for his own label Blue Land Records, Landrus delivers a collection of outstanding compositions and jazz standard, played with technical and emotional intensity. Whether on swinging tracks like "Traverse" and "Creeper," or ballads like "Lone" and "Soundwave," Landrus displays a strong, beautiful tone, and a sublime sound, played over the strong rhythm section of bassist Lonnie Plaxico
Lonnie Plaxico
Lonnie Plaxico
b.1960
bass
and drummer Billy Hart
Billy Hart
Billy Hart
b.1940
drums
.

Landrus' ability to convey many emotions can be fully appreciated on "Soul and Body," a solo intro to his beautiful rendition of the jazz standard, "Body and Soul," while pianist Michael Cain
Michael Cain
Michael Cain
b.1966
piano
adds some sensitive and flawless improvisations on "Gnosis" and "Lydian 4"

Hopefully Landrus' brilliant playing will inspire more young people to play this wonderful instrument.

Track Listing: Traverse; Gnosis; Lone; Lydian 4; Soul And Body; Body And Soul; Creeper; Soundwave.

Personnel: Brian Landrus: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Lonnie Plaxico: bass; Michael Cain: piano; Billy Hart: drums.

Record Label: BlueLand Records


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