Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

B.J. Jansen: Ronin

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen demonstrates his versatility as a composer and performer on Ronin, his third release as a leader. The nine originals that comprise the album cover a gamut of styles while remaining firmly in the jazz mainstream.

On the boppish "Manhattan Trane'in" for instance Jansen wields his horn with agility as he intricately embellishes the melody and deftly navigates its harmonic structure. "Diamonds for Lil," meanwhile, showcases his subtle and emotive balladry as his thick smooth tone shimmers with romanticism while completely eschewing syrupiness. Elsewhere, on the mellifluous "Blues For C.P." his buttery saxophone weaves, hearty sonic threads over this band mates' earthy groove. Bassist Mike Boone both anchors the loosely swinging rhythms and takes center stage with an intelligent, conversational improvisation, another highlight of this ardent tune.

Boone exhibits an intriguing dexterity as he lays down crisp and clever spontaneous twists and turns on the theme of "Best Fiend." The slow simmering piece also features Jansen's meandering baritone and pianist Mamiko Watanabe's soulful edgy ad-lib phrases.

Watanabe's unique virtuosity incorporates a wide array of expressions as she goes from cool, cascade of individual notes on the title track to reserved yet exciting percussive chords on "The Cost." The former has vaguely Asian hints, features drummer Chris Beck's rumbling and exuberant solo and closes with stimulating and pensive group play. The latter finds Jansen and Watanabe in the company of two different side musicians, the bassist Amanda Ruzza and drummer Dorota Piotrowska. Ruzza exhibits her characteristic charm and lyricism as she adroitly keeps pace with Piotrowska's fiery and explosive polyrhythms and Jansen's visceral and energetic extemporization.

Although not terribly innovative or groundbreaking Ronin, nevertheless, is quite an enjoyable and delightful record. Jansen has created an engaging work with his catchy motifs, his absorbing playing and his skillful leadership.

Track Listing: Ronin; Rose for Noriko; Best Fiend; The Cost; Blues for C.P.; Manhattan Trane'in; Brother Sid; Diamonds for Lil; The Code.

Personnel: B.J. Jansen: baritone saxophone; Mamiko Watanabe: piano; Mike Boone: bass (1-3, 5-9); Amanda Ruzza: bass (4); Chris Beck: drums (1-3, 5-9); Dorota Piotrowska: drums (4).

Title: Ronin | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: ARC - Artists Recording Collective


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Tetrawind" CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Another North" CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!