Purpose Built by Michael Janisch
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About: Purpose Built
The Inaugural release from Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
Release Date: January 26, 2010: Worldwide Stores & Digital
Purpose Built by Michael Janisch (named by NYC's Village Voice as one of the Best Debuts of 2010) is a dynamic and ambitious debut by a hugely talented young composer, producer & freelance electric/double bassist, which showcases music that cuts from a wide swath of the broad stylistic continuum of jazz history, and in addition representing the diverse range of the leader's musical influences outside the improvised realm. A healthy program of twelve tracks-- with eight originals and four artfully arranged covers-- Janisch has called on some of the world's most prominent younger generation creative musicians (from his native US and the UK) to bring his music to life. The contributors turn out stellar performances (each with their own featured solo on the album) and include tenor saxophonists Walter Smith III and Paul Booth, guitarists Mike Moreno and Phil Robson, vibraphonist Jim Hart, alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, pianist Aaron Goldberg, trumpeter Jason Palmer, and Grammy award nominee Johnathan Blake on drums. The music is presented in many different configurations from duet to sextet, all creatively arranged by the leader.
Janisch's compositions on Purpose Built are a mixture of contemporary sounds and grooves inspired by a lifelong study of music from around the globe, and the binding thread throughout the album is Janisch's love and dedication to improvisation as well as his keen focus on a strong sense of pulse and propulsion from his deep and full toned basses. They exhibit an original take on the current trends in modern creative music with a focus on melody, even though the forms and structures at times are very complex, both rhythmically and harmonically.
There are many moods to choose from as well: from the relentlessly grooving "Precisely Now," to the extremely catchy latinesque "Adelante", to the full-on Charles Mingus inspired "Shumshi", to the calm but powerful "Serenade of the Seas," to the melancholy "Lost Creek," to the quiet and mysterious Strayhorn Classic "Blood Count" to the highly interactive electric bass and drums duet between Janisch and Blake on Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," this is a debut album full of beauty, tension, drama, communication, power, feeling and groove. Purpose Built establishes Janisch as much more than a virtuosic bassist, but the arrival of a fine composer with a strong sense of originality and all-around creative force who leads the band from the bottom up.
Best Debut Albums List (Critics Poll) 2010 - The Village Voice
Best Albums List of 2010 - Blues & Soul Magazine
Best Debut Albums List, 2010 - Bass Musician Magazine
Best Albums List of 2010 - Jazz Mann
Best Jazz Album of 2010 - BBC Radio (NI)
"Bass players, jazz lovers, music lovers… you all owe it to yourselves to check this album out! Janisch is one of the few bass players out there who plays both electric and upright with equal facility, passion and musicality. This being his debut as a leader, I can honestly say that this may be the best debut album I’ve heard yet."
Bass Musician Magazine
"Exceptional creativity, brilliant musicianship and compositional intensity are what bassist/composer Michael Janisch is all about, [Purpose Built] is the complete package."
"His music is quite capable of creating beauty with attendant amounts of melodic and rhythmic interest...Purpose Built abounds with innovation, invention, and imagination."
The Musicians' Ombudsman
"Clearly an auspicious debut, there's not a wasted note on board and left leaning jazzbos will be feeling it. This kid has got it going on."
"An extremely interesting character, who's first album shows deep maturity and solidity. The musical field is definitely "made in New York" with its vibe, and has controlled lyricism in its compositions, fluid and complex, and based on well thought out rhythmical ideas, and great variety of climax and a nice balance of mixed influences."
Jazz Magazine, France
"Purpose Built is a transatlantic effort that highlights Janisch's fleet fingered fretboard work, and features superb performances on an eclectic set of challenging, inventive original compositions."
Bass Player Magazine
"Grabs your ears and won't let go."
"If smart is sexy, then Purpose is an eminently sexy effort. The session has a staggering depth of thought, filled with content-rich pieces that routinely go beyond the genre's well-worn performance framework. Hopefully there is more where Purpose Built came from, because intelligent, full-bodied music like this is what jazz needs to succeed in this new century."
All About Jazz
"An estimable release from a talented and energetic young artist."
"Purpose Built seamlessly marries the highest virtues of jazz – intricate yet purposeful rhythm, colourful harmonic language, compelling melody and high-level improvisation together with those often underused qualities of light and shade... a perfect blend of tradition and modernity."
"Well-crafted, polished writing and arranging, merging straightahead, latin, fusion styles for the contemporary jazz palette."
"Janisch's originals balance complexity and pulse."
4 Stars, Financial Times
"One of the most inventive cross-border bandleaders to have recently arrived on the scene."
"Infectiously vibrant debut."
"Exuberantly angular and rhythmic, can unexpectedly veer towards the tender."
4 Stars Telegraph
"The originals are fresh and memorable while the mix of NY and UK musicians deliver faultless and inspired interpretations."
4 Stars, MOJO Magazine
"One of the most enjoyable albums of 2009."
4 Stars, Jazz Mann
4 Stars, All Gig UK
"Impressive from beginning to end, Purpose Built goes a long way to building a sturdy foundation from which Janisch will undoubtedly carve out a long career in jazz. Excellent musicianship, intelligent compositions and an authoritative approach to the music, makes this recording an unquestionable success."
All About Jazz
"Driven by Janisch's unflagging dynamism... this is full-throttle, straightforwardly enjoyable but consistently musicianly jazz."
Vortex CD Review
"Unique... satisfying... one of the best albums of the year."
Blues and Soul Magazine
"Janisch’s writing is an attractive mix of densely harmonized tunes and softer, more open pieces giving space for excellent improvisation."
The Oxford Times
"Purpose Built is a classy set of serious modern jazz with a dark edgy groove at its heart... [Janisch's] playing is full-bodied and warm sounding, much like a cross between Mingus and Dave Holland."
Bass Guitar Magazine (UK)