It blows me away the wealth of good musicians in the world of jazz and the new album Traverse by The Brian Landrus Quartet is no exception. This is Landrus' second album, his debut Forward was released in 2007. He also has another album coming out on July 1st entitled Capsule.
Landrus's specialty are the woodwinds and on this CD he pulls out the baritone saxophone and bass clarinet. His tone is deep and rich and whether his playing takes on the softness of a butterfly or becomes more intense, his attention to detail is beyond reproach. The melodies are frequent and the musicianship is stellar. Rounding out the quartet are Lonnie Plaxico (acoustic bass), Michael Cain (acoustic piano) and Billy Hart (drums).
For me the album's best songs echo a jazzy sentimentality that tugs with the emotions like the balladic "Lone" offering just a hint of sadness and the melodic "Lydian 4" highlighting fabulous acoustic bass and piano. "Soul And Body" is a short number featuring only Landrus' crystal clear woodwinds while the ten minute "Creeper" has the entire band exploring their jazzier side with excellent solo performances by the entire quartet. One of the best things about this album is that all the musicians are integral to the overall sound and all have their chance to shine. This is a quartet in the truest sense of the word.
The Brian Landrus Quartet offer a swingin' good time with Traverse. I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully you will too.
4. Lydian 4
5. Soul And Body
6. Body And Soul
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