All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Ronin

Ronin

BJ Jansen
Ronin

Relaxin' With Jessica

Relaxin' With Jessica

BJ Jansen
B.J. Jansen & CONJURA -...

A Rose For Noriko

A Rose For Noriko

BJ Jansen
Bright Future

Cousin Debi

Cousin Debi

BJ Jansen
The Movement Vol. 2

Sept. 11th, 2001

Sept. 11th, 2001

BJ Jansen
Ballads (EXTENDED TRACK)

Angela's Aggravation

Angela's Aggravation

BJ Jansen
The Movement Vol. 2

CD/LP/Track Review
In The Biz
Read more articles
Common Ground

Common Ground

Ronin Jazz
2017

buy
Ronin

Ronin

ARC - Artists Recording Collective
2014

buy
B.J. Jansen & CONJURA - Movement Vol. 1

B.J. Jansen & CONJURA...

JansenMusic Records, LLC
0

buy
B.J. Jansen & Frank Stagnitta - Ballads: Reflections of a New World

B.J. Jansen & Frank...

JansenMusic Records, LLC
0

buy
Bright Future

Bright Future

JansenMusic Records, LLC
0

buy

Related Articles

Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Love Wins CD/LP/Track Review
Love Wins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 19, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Mutt Slang CD/LP/Track Review
Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Prisma CD/LP/Track Review
Prisma
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Suite Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Theory
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Each Edge of the Field" CD/LP/Track Review Each Edge of the Field
by John Eyles
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "First Things First" CD/LP/Track Review First Things First
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 8, 2018