In Roman mythology, Janus signified the god of entryways and beginnings, amid two heads that looked to the past and future. On The Two Faces of Janus
, however, saxophonist Jason Robinson revealsa multi-contextual and many-sided stance, while maximizing the talents of his estimable support system.
Robinson soars to a zenith during his alliances with reed man Marty Ehrlich
and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa
on select works. But with the core ensemble, Robinson scores a highly literate set of jazz frameworks that integrate nouveau stylization with bop, swing and nods to the freer realm.
Contrasts abound, sparked with a bit of gravitational pull on "Tides of Consciousness Fading." Here, guitarist Liberty Ellman
's warm intro is devised with blissful implications, offset by the three-man horn section's ominous undertones. Regimented by drummer George Schuller
's tom-tom patterns, the band spins a jazz dirge into an orbital mode of attack, where the hornists' interweaving mini-themes generate a cascading finale. It's one of several enticing propositions set forth throughout the program, as Robinson offers the antithesis to jazz highways frequently traversed.
Personnel: Jason Robinson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Drew Gress: bass; George Schuller: drums, percussion; Marty Ehrlich: alto saxophone, flute; Rudresh Mahanthappa: alto saxophone.
Title: The Two Faces of Janus
| Year Released: 2011
| Record Label: Cuneiform Records