Baritone sax and bass clarinet ace Brian Landrus takes a refreshing, modernist approach to the jazz quintet on his sixth album as a leader. Accompanied by up-and-coming guitarist Nir Felder and the sensational drummer Rudy Royston, along with bassist Matthew Parish and veteran keyboardist Michael Cain, Landrus blows with rare precision and authority on two drum-and-bass-flavored numbers, “Striped Phase” and “Beauty,” then settles into a relaxed, reggae-ish vibe on “Like the Wind,” which features some outstanding guitar work by Felder. Landrus bears down on his bari on the surging title track, then luxuriates on the sparse ballad “Now,” where Cain plays with Zen-like restraint during his piano solo. Felder and Landrus share tight unison and harmony lines on “Wide Sky,” and on the turbulent dirge “71 & On the Road,” Felder dials up a touch of distortion as Landrus wails intensely on his bari. Landrus is someone to watch, an exciting voice on the big horn.Originally Published
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