Recommended: Brian Landrus Orchestra – “Generations”


It’s more than a little compelling the way Brian Landrus keeps switching things up when it comes to revealing facets of his lyricism.  Of a more recent vintage, the multi-instrumentalist accomplished the feat via a focus on the love song and in a trio setting on 2015’s The Deep Below.  No less intriguing was the 2013 large ensemble work Mirage, an album that stretched out further than matters of the heart and incorporated the music of different eras in one voice.  This time around, it’s a 25-piece orchestra, and while the lyricism of Generations retains a sharpness specific to Landrus’s vision, there’s also the sense that he simply let the orchestra loose out of simple curiosity to where it might all fly off to.  The giant swells of harmony and how soloists cut through and diverge away on “The Warrior” is the most immediate evidence of this.  On the other hand, the strict discipline of how the ensemble rolls out the five-part “Jeru Concerto” shows that tight control is no obstacle to attaining beauty, either.  And a parallel could be drawn to the narrow focus of “Arrow in the Night” and how its impact is no small effect.

It’s a good idea to keep Landrus on your radar, if for no other reason than what comes next is likely not to resemble what came before.

Your album personnel: Brian Landrus, Jamie Baum, Tom Christensen, Darryl Harper, Michael Rabinowitz, Alden Banta (woodwinds), Debbie Schmidt, Ralph Alessi, Igmar Thomas, Alan Ferber, Marcus Rojas (brass), Brandee Younger (harp), Sara Caswell, Mark Feldman, Joyce Hammann, Meg Okura, Lois Martin, Nora Krohn, Jody Redhage and Maria Jeffers (strings), Joe Locke (vibraphone), Billy Hart, Justin Brown (drums), Jay Anderson, Lonnie Plaxico (bass) and JC Sanford (conductor).

Released on BlueLand Records.

Music from Brooklyn.

Available at:  Amazon

And be sure to check out Landrus’s 2013 release Mirage.  It received the #21 slot on this site’s Best of 2013 list, and like all the excellent recordings on that list, probably deserved a higher spot and definitely deserves all the attention it can get.