Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brian Landrus - Forward

A debut album like Forward, from saxophonist Brian Landrus, is often difficult to classify without an existing body of work as reference. But, in Landrus’ case we can base a foundation for critical analysis on the compelling testimony of unquestionable authorities, his teachers and colleagues: Bob Brookmeyer, Jerry Bergonzi and Michael Cain among others. Further confirmation of Landrus’ standing is evidenced by the fact that immediately upon completion of Forward, Bob Rusch at Cadence Records C.I.M.P. (Creative Improvised Music Projects) invited Landrus to begin production on a second recording. Landrus brings to his first recording some impressive experience. He began playing professionally at 14 and has performed with The Coasters, The Four Tops, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Martha Reeves and several Broadway shows. Landrus holds two masters of music degrees and other honors from the New England Conservatory of Music and is a member of the faculty of the 92Y School of Music in Manhattan...MORE...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

VW Brothers - Muziek

Muziek is Paul and Marc van Wageningen’s first release as band leaders, but the ubiquitous brothers have performed and recorded extensively since moving from Amsterdam to San Francisco 30 years ago.  Perhaps unaware of him by name, you may have heard (and seen) Marc on bass in the house band on “The Wayne Brady Show,” touring with Tower of Power in 2002, with Sheila E in 2001 or on Steve Winwood’s “Gotta Get Back to My Baby.”  Paul, on drums, has recorded with Turtle Island String Quartet, performed on sound tracks for movies such as “The Firm” and “Internal Affairs” and for video games such as Sim City 300 and Monkey Island. While these accomplishments offer glimpses into their extensive resumes the greatest testament to their artistry may be the reputation they enjoy among their peers. Drawing on their three decades of experience and with the help of some of the talented artists they have met along their journey, Paul and Marc (who now kindly go by the abbreviated appellation, “VW Brothers”), offer their premier CD, Muziek...MORE

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Zdenko Ivanusic Quartet - Free Fall

In late 2009 Zdenko Ivanusic, Zagreb jazz saxophonist (tenor, alto, soprano and flute) and composer, released Free Fall, his fourth album for Zivaldo Records. While not well-known in the U.S., Ivanusic has garnered well-deserved respect in Eastern Europe and praise for previous recordings such as 2007’s Lost in HTML and particularly for the composition “Four Odd” from that album. He was also honored with the Third Annual Fame Games Effigy Award in 2009. Ivanusic has an extensive musical background and has been a force in Croatian contemporary music for 20 years as leader and sideman in jazz combos, as alto chair in the Croatian Army Symphonic Wind Orchestra and as lead alto in HGM Jazz Orchestra Zagreb. The other three members of the quartet, all active and prominent jazz musicians in Croatia and beyond, are: Elvis Penava, guitar; Borna Sercar, drums; and Zvonimir Bucevic Buc, bass. Ivanusic is accomplished on the entire family of saxophones, but on Free Fall we hear him exclusively on alto. The ten tracks contain tastes of free jazz, blues, fusion, New Orleans funk, and Latin in an overall mainstream jazz context...MORE