Friday, December 9, 2016

Brian Landrus Launches Major Orchestra Album via Artistshare

Photo © Vince Segalla

Drawing upon his favorite musical Influences, from hip-hop and Motown to jazz, classical and reggae, Brian Landrus launches a major new orchestra album via ArtistShare

Performers include Landrus, Ralph Alessi, Billy Hart, Joe Locke, Brandee Younger, Lonnie Plaxico, Marcus Rojas, Jamie Baum, Tom Christensen, Darryl Harper, Jay Anderson Michael Rabinowitz, Alden Banta, Justin Brown, Igmar Thomas, Chris Komer, Alan Ferber, Chris Turner, Sara Caswell, Mark Feldman, Joyce Hammann, Meg Okura, Lois Martin, Kallie Ciechomski,
Jody Redhage, Maria Jeffers and conductor JC Sanford

“Landrus demonstrates tonal nuance, melodic sense and instrumental command that set him apart from his peers.” — DownBeat

 “A baritone saxophonist of convincing authority.” — NY Times

ArtistShare, the internet’s first “crowdfunding” platform, has just launched Generations by The Brian Landrus Orchestra. The project features composer, baritone saxophonist and low woodwind master Brian Landrus and a stellar 26-piece orchestra performing eight of Landrus’ compositions, the centerpiece of which is “The Jeru Concerto,” a four-movement work inspired by and written for Landrus’ two-year-old son. Other compositions on the recording include “Ruby,” written for Landrus’ four-year-old daughter and “The Warrior,” written for his dad.

Fans will be able to participate directly in Landrus’ creative process and experience Generations as it is created, with access to exclusive videos, audios, downloads, photos and news about project. Levels of participation range from $12.95 for all of this and a download of the CD, to the $10,000 Executive Producer level which includes Executive Producer credit on the new recording, an autographed CD, a private concert, invitation to the mixing and mastering session, VIP access to all Landrus performances for 1 year, and more.  The recording, which will be released June 27, 2017, is powered by ArtistShare and available exclusively at ArtistShare

“The music I’ve composed for this recording is a blend of all of my musical influences since I was a kid. I grew up loving and listening to Motown, soul, jazz, funk, hip hop, reggae, Latin jazz, world music, and classical music,” says Landrus.  “The music is influenced by all of these sources and the compositions themselves are structured, yet have the freedom of jazz improvisation built in. I wrote this music to give these musicians the freedom to express their individual voices.”

Joe Locke, who plays on the project, said after hearing the music in rehearsal: “This is really like nothing I’ve ever heard before. It’s going to be amazing and I can’t wait to hear the final product!”  Billy Hart agreed: “To be part of Brian’s vision is enlightening.  It causes me optimism.” 

Musicians on the project include Landrus (bari sax, bass clarinet, alto flute), Jamie Baum (flute,alto flute), Tom Christensen (oboe), Darryl Harper (clarinet), Michael Rabinowitz (bassoon), Alden Banta (contrabassoon), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Igmar Thomas (trumpet), Chris Komer (horn), Alan Ferber (trombone), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Chris Turner (vocals), Brandee Younger (harp), Joe Locke (vibraphone) Billy Hart and Justin Brown (drums), Sara Caswell, Mark Feldman, Joyce Hammann, and Meg Okura (violin), Lois Martin and Kallie Ciechomski (viola), Jody Redhage and Maria Jeffers (cello), Jay Anderson and Lonnie Plaxico (bass).  The music will be conducted by JC Sanford with Brian Landrus and Bob Aldridge serving as producers.

"We are living in extraordinary times for musicians and listeners alike," says Landrus, "So many genres and styles are colliding and influencing each other in amazing ways, creating compelling music that knows no boundaries or limits. Exploring these wildly interesting creative intersections is what drives my work. The compositions that we will be recording for Generations are diverse and complex. In the end, each musician will have the space to take off, and significantly contribute to project's collective power, power I hear in the streets and the concert halls, imagine in my head, and feel in my heart."

The recording will have about 70 minutes of orchestral music. “The Jeru Concerto” is written for baritone saxophone and features a mix of jazz, classical, hip hop, and soul.  The four-movement piece is about 20 minutes long.  Landrus started composing the work right after his son was born.  Once Landrus got to know Jeru’s “adorable, generous, and feisty demeanor,” he wrote the fourth movement. The concerto covers an extreme range and goes from the lowest the baritone sax can play up though the top notes of the altissimo range. 

Other pieces to be featured include “Ruby,” written for Landrus’ daughter.  “I tried to match the joy of life which emanates from Ruby’s soul.  She is an inquisitive and loving girl, and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful daughter.”   The album also includes “The Warrior,” a track written for Landrus’ father and other works reflecting his “journey through life and love.”

Landrus booked the recording session a year ago when he only had two pieces composed.  “This is something which I learned from my dear friend and mentor Bob Brookmeyer, who said ‘If you want something to happen, book a date and start writing.’”

One of the most unique and powerful voices on low reeds and a composer of striking abilities, Brian Landrus has released six widely acclaimed albums as a leader, toured the world as part of star bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding's band and contributed to such ensembles as the Grammy-winning Gil Evans Project.  In addition, Landrus has performed with the likes of John Lockwood, Lewis Nash, Frank Kimbrough, Donny McCaslin, Steve Wilson, Jay Anderson, Matt Wilson, Maria Schneider, Rufus Ried, Uri Caine, Anat Cohen, Steve Swell, the Ayn Inserto Orchestra, Frank Carlberg, and Alan Ferber, among others.  Landrus has been voted a Rising Star multiple years running in the DownBeat Critics Poll earning a spot as the #1 Rising Star in 2015 before moving up to the Baritone Saxophonist category in 2016, marking his place as one of the top bari players in the world. He's also earned a place on DownBeat's list for his bass clarinet prowess.

Born in 1978 and raised in Nevada, Landrus began playing saxophone at 12 and was performing professionally by 15. He earned his bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance at the University of Nevada-Reno and two master’s degrees at New England Conservatory, one in jazz composition and the other in jazz saxophone. He is currently a PhD candidate in classical composition at Rutgers where he also teaches. The New York Times notes “the tenderness in his playing feels as warm and accessible as his writing.”