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Brian Landrus: Generations

Angelo Leonardi By

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«Se qualcuno ti dice che non puoi fare qualcosa, sai proprio che stai facendo qualcosa di speciale». Queste parole di Bob Brookmeyer hanno sostenuto Brian Landrus nella stesura di quest'ambizioso progetto orchestrale, che ha confermato le parole del grande trombonista e arrangiatore, ricevendo generali consensi.

Tutto è iniziato nell'estate del 2014 quando Landrus preparava il PhD in composizione classica con Robert Livingston Aldridge alla Rutgers University. Dopo mesi di innumerevoli revisioni le partiture hanno iniziato a prendere forma, concretizzandosi poi nella scelta di quest'ampio organico (25 elementi guidati da JC Sanford, con musicisti di prim'ordine). L'incisione è venuta nel gennaio 2017.

Cuore del disco è il «Jeru Concerto», composizione in quattro movimenti per orchestra e sax baritono solista. Il titolo rimanda ovviamente al soprannome di Gerry Mulligan che è poi divenuto il nome del figlio di Landrus. Questi si conferma il massimo sax baritono della sua generazione e improvvisa con magistero in rapporto alle sue variopinte orchestrazioni: impasti in prezioso equilibrio tra raffinatezze sinfoniche di archi, timbriche sontuose di ance e ottoni (l'amore per la scuola Cool di Gil Evans e Gerry Mulligan è evidente) e tensioni jazzistiche.

I restanti sette brani originali confermano attrattiva tematica, coerenza stilistica e scelte ritmiche insolite aggiungendo il contributo dei principali solisti: in particolare Joe Locke al vibrafono, Mark Feldman al violino, Tom Christensen e Jamie Baum al flauto, Ingmar Thomas e Ralph Alessi alla tromba. Ognuno dei temi meriterebbe attenzione ma tutti spiccano per il raro equilibrio tra le componenti stilistiche di cui s'è detto. È questa rara capacità di sintesi che fa del disco un lavoro speciale (oltre alla nota maestria solistica del leader).

CD della settimana.

Track Listing: Jeru Concerto, Mvt. 1; Jeru Concerto, Interlude; Jeru Concerto, Mvt. 2; Jeru Concerto, Mvt. 3; Jeru Concerto, Mvt. 4; Orchids; The Warrior; Arrow in the Night; Arise; Human Nature; Ruby; Every Time I Dream.

Personnel: Brian Landrus: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Jamie Baum: flute, alto flute; Tom Christensen: oboe, flute; Darryl Harper: clarinet; Michael Rabinowitz: bassoon; Alden Banta: contrabassoon; Debbie Schmidt: horn; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Igmar Thomas: trumpet; Alan Ferber: trombone; Marcus Rojas: tuba; Brandee Younger: harp; Joe Locke: vibraphones; Billy Hart: drums; Justin Brown: drums; Mark Feldman: violin; Sara Caswell: violin; Joyce Hammann: violin; Meg Okura: violin; Lois Martin: viola; Mora Krohn: viola; Jody Redhage: cello; Maria Jeffers: cello; Jay Anderson: acoustic bass; Lonnie Plaxico: acoustic bass, electric bass; JC Sanford: conductor.

Title: Generations | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: BlueLand Records

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Jeru Concerto, Mvmt. 1

Jeru Concerto, Mvmt. 1

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