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Brian Landrus: Generations

Read "Generations" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

With Generations baritone saxophonist Brian Landrus has created an ambitious set of music for full orchestra that is based in jazz but also touches on classical music, hip hop and reggae, giving prominent position to instruments like harp and vibraphone to give his ensemble an airy, spacious sound.It all begins with the five-movement “Jeru Concerto," Landrus' tribute to one of the icons of his instrument, Gerry Mulligan. It mostly consists of his baritone swirling through a lush, slow ...

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Brian Landrus: Generations

Read "Generations" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Brian Landrus established himself as a composer of great strength and substance, and rose to his position as one of the foremost low reed specialists on the scene, through albums like the expansive Mirage (Blueland Records, 2013) and the trio-centric The Deep Below (Blueland, Records/Palmetto Records, 2015). But even well wrought and absorbing dates like those don't properly prepare you for this. Generations brings together a twenty-five piece jazz orchestra to realize Landrus' broad-minded, wide-eyed compositions in stunning fashion. We ...

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Brian Landrus Trio: The Deep Below

Read "The Deep Below" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

With his sixth release as a leader The Deep Below, low reedman Brian Landrus continues to explore the bottom octaves of woodwind registers with his characteristic elegance and captivating charm. What sets this album apart from its predecessors is the sparseness of its setting. Backed only by bass and drums, Landrus places his various instruments at the core and center stage of all the tracks. The result is a raw yet sophisticated showcase of these infrequently heard horns ...

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Brian Landrus Trio: The Deep Below

Read "The Deep Below" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If this recording can't kindle a love of the low end in your cochlea then nothing can. For The Deep Below, Brian Landrus--perhaps the most significant baritone saxophonist/low reed man to emerge in recent times--put together a trio with bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drumming icon Billy Hart. Together, they explore eleven Landrus originals and three classics, most of which manage to mask weighty sounds with lithe movements and, more importantly, lyrical thoughts. Part of the charm surrounding ...

INTERVIEWS

Brian Landrus: The Low End Theory

Read "Brian Landrus: The Low End Theory" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

Specialists don't usually have the luxury of controlling much of their destiny. For a low woodwind expert like Brian Landrus, it would be of little surprise to anyone to find that, though he'd have the freedom to experiment with sounds and timbres for his own records, he would be little more than a hired gun for his sideperson work. Fortunately, Landrus's conviction as an artist, as well as technical skill as a multi-reedist, has given him the leeway to put ...

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Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope: Mirage

Read "Mirage" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Brian Landrus' Mirage is his most accomplished, and thematically unified recording to date. The music shimmers like the phenomenon of the title as pastel colored harmonies of a string quartet bleed into the deep, earthy tones of low reeds and the fusion-like sounds of the band, Kaleidoscope.On “Don't Close Your Eyes" the evocative romanticism of the chordophones and soulful swagger of the rhythm section seamlessly blend enhancing its emotional reach. The crystalline ring of pianist ...

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Brian Landrus' Kaleidoscope: Mirage

Read "Mirage" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Thus far, every recording by low-end multi-reed artist Brian Landrus has been refreshingly different. The NEC grad burst on to the scene a few years back with Forward (Cadence Jazz Records, 2008) a richly textured free-leaning acoustic jazz album created with a large ensemble of seasoned jazz veterans such as pianist Michael Cain and drummer Bob Moses. His subsequent release, Everlasting (CIMP Records, 2009), a quartet date with Moses and bassist John Lockwood also had free-bop tendencies.Traverse (Blue ...

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The Landrus Kaleidoscope: Capsule

Read "Capsule" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Brian Landrus is a striking baritone saxophonist and appears to have become a full-time bass clarinetist as well. Landrus is unique and unlike anyone else in his tribe because he appears to have a genuine and very deep passion for the bass registers of the world. For all that is known he hears sounds that most people cannot--growls and grumbles and earth-shaking rumbles that most would require a Richter Scale to know even exist. Landrus hears all this with large ...

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The Landrus Kaleidoscope: Capsule

Read "Capsule" reviewed by Dave Wayne

After exploring post-bop and free-ish jazz with his first two CDs, multi-reed player Brian Landrus extends his stylistic range into the realm of electric jazz with Capsule. Despite listing Fender Rhodes and electric guitar among the CD credits, Capsule is not really a fusion record. Rather, it's a jazz recording with some electronic instrumentation, along the lines of what Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin have been doing with their electric bands. Landrus' band is well-suited to explore this realm. Pianist ...

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The Landrus Kaleidoscope: Capsule

Read "Capsule" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

On Capsule his second album on his own BlueLand label, baritone saxophonist and reed multi-instrumentalist, Brian Landrus pushes the boundaries of jazz and explores a more fusion-like style inspired by Motown and other related genres. Contributing to this electric sound is the addition of Nir Felder to the rhythm section whose Jimi Hendrix-like guitar on the Caribbean-flavored “Like The Wind" meanders away from the theme, giving the tune its jazzy edge, while Landrus--on the rarely heard bass ...

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The Brian Landrus Quartet: Traverse

Read "Traverse" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

There is a gravitas in the musical intellect of baritone saxophonist/bass clarinetist Brian Landrus that can only come from a wellspring emanating from the depths of a very bluesy soul. His is a singular voice and, as he sings in sensuous, velvet tones, his long magical lines swing and swagger with rhythmic grace. Although his music is, at its heart, conceptually simple, he rarely stays in the linear path of the melody for long, preferring to be seduced by the ...

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Brian Landrus: Traverse

Read "Traverse" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Saxophonist/composer Brian Landrus' Traverse is a mature, cohesive and intensely personal musical opus that reflects his various influences. Although adept at playing multiple reed instruments. Landrus is best-known for being a baritone saxophonist, an instrument he mostly sticks, along with some bass clarinet, with on this, his third CD. His creative and personal approach to blending the past and the future is best reflected in the solo improvisation, “Soul and Body," which is in the spirit of ...


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