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The Brian Landrus Quartet: Traverse

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Body and Soul"

Boasting an extensive résumé as a sideman in addition to his 2010 debut Forward (Cadence Jazz), baritone saxophonist/bass clarinetist Brian Landrus focuses on the mainstream jazz strata on Traverse. Landrus is equally adept as an outside player but delves, on this album, into more conventional persuasions, garnering sympathetic support from his venerable band mates.

Landrus incorporates fluency and warmth into his repertoire. He generates soul-stirring overtones and capacious qualities via an acute sense of dynamics. These attributes shine on his rendition of "Body and Soul," which of course, is the vehicle that tenor sax icon Coleman Hawkins used to set a new standard for woodwind performers.

Performing on baritone sax, Landrus looks inward, while transmitting spirited sentiment, nicely shaded by drummer Billy Hart's cyclical cymbal swashes. The saxophonist slowly raises the pitch, following bassist Lonnie Plaxico's pensive solo spot that looms as a followup discussion or retort to the leader's voicings. The quartet also executes a faint swing groove after the bridge and finalizes the piece on a temperate note.

Landrus is a superior technician, who adroitly fuses the emotive component into his craft.

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