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The Brian Landrus Quartet: Traverse

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Jazz fans often cite Gerry Mulligan as the most recognized baritone saxophonist in jazz, but for most, the list stops there. Why the baritone saxophone is not a more popular instrument in jazz is uncertain; in the right hands, the instrument has a warmth and tonal beauty unlike any other.

Baritone saxophonist Brian Landrus is a rising star, with two Masters degrees in jazz composition and performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, He is also a winner of Downbeat Magazine's 2010 International Critics Poll.

In Traverse, one of two albums recorded for his own label Blue Land Records, Landrus delivers a collection of outstanding compositions and jazz standard, played with technical and emotional intensity. Whether on swinging tracks like "Traverse" and "Creeper," or ballads like "Lone" and "Soundwave," Landrus displays a strong, beautiful tone, and a sublime sound, played over the strong rhythm section of bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drummer Billy Hart.

Landrus' ability to convey many emotions can be fully appreciated on "Soul and Body," a solo intro to his beautiful rendition of the jazz standard, "Body and Soul," while pianist Michael Cain adds some sensitive and flawless improvisations on "Gnosis" and "Lydian 4"

Hopefully Landrus' brilliant playing will inspire more young people to play this wonderful instrument.

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