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Janus

Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Import, October 14, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god of time, passageways, beginnings and endings. With his two diametrically opposed faces, he looked simultaneously backwards and forwards in time. Janus is thus an ideal title for the new duo recording by pianist Nick Sanders and saxophonist Logan Strosahl, which mines centuries of compositions to create music entirely of the present moment. The pair also share a unique chemistry, honed over nearly a decade of working together, that echoes Janus in its suggestion of two voices sharing one mind.

Janus will be released on October 14, 2016 via Sunnyside Records, almost ten years after Sanders and Strosahl began playing duo in the basement of the dorms at Boston s New England Conservatory, where both were students. The album features an intriguing mix of material, from medieval, Baroque and 20th-century French composers through bebop and Songbook standards to witty and inventive original pieces.

That stunning range of repertoire is not intended to show off the pair s musical knowledge, encyclopedic though it may be. It s simply a collection of songs, both insist, that they found appealing and that sparked imaginative improvisation. Genre isn t crucial, Strosahl says. What s crucial is improvisation. Even though we re working with music that represents different styles, they re really all from the same canon. They re all Western music and we re filtering all of it through ourselves. Genres have been artificially broken up, so we re just trying to take a larger, simpler and clearer view.

That broadened perspective allowed Strosahl and Sanders to find just as much territory to explore in a romantic 14th-century rondeau by Guillaume de Machaut as in the acute modernist corners of Monk s Thelonious or in their own playful, co-composed Be-Bop Tune, which distorts the revered jazz language as through a funhouse mirror. The moods and colors shift over the course of these dozen tunes, but the duo s approach stays the same whether a composition began life as an elegant chamber piece or a swinging nightclub burner. All are translated into the same language, one that the pianist and saxophonist have developed from college basements to bandstands but that was nearly intact the moment they first joined forces.

From the beginning, we both approached the jazz tradition not in identical ways, but like two sides of the same coin, Strosahl says. Sanders adds, We always played really well together. It was always fun and didn t take any work. It was already there, right away.

Since meeting in 2007, both have recorded with their own projects. Sanders has released two albums with his trio featuring bassist Henry Fraser and drummer Connor Baker, both produced by his mentor, Fred Hersch. In 2015 Strosahl made his debut with Up Go We, featuring his septet or as he calls it, his team that includes Sanders and the pianist s trio mates within its ranks. But they ve continually returned to the duo configuration and continued to find fresh inspiration in the partnership.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sunnyside Communicat
  • ASIN: B01KO8Z4M6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,115 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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December 17, 2016
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