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.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.