Low-register reed specialist and multi-instrumentalist and composer Brian Landrus confronted a difficult period in his life and used adversity to inspire a passionate declaration in song on his 2020 release For Now (BlueLand Records). He took advice from the late valve-trombonist, composer and educator Bob Brookmeyer, “book a recording session before you have the music composed—then you have a goal.”
Also adding a richness to the harmonies was the addition of an elegant string quartet: Sara Caswell (violin), Joyce Hammann (violin), Lois Martin (viola) and Jody Redhage-Ferber (cello), with arrangements by Landrus and opera composer Robert Aldridge.
Landrus credits Hersch as his co-collaborator, muse and genius, creating “incredible atmosphere as he gets inside the song.” In addition, the superb percussionist, drummer and close friend Billy Hart brought exemplary chops and, as importantly, the instinct to explore on every take in the studio, driving other band members to take chances.
During the inspiration and evolution of For Now Landrus found himself reflecting back on his key mentor and teacher at the New England Conservatory, Bob Brookmeyer, and the experience at NEC “that completely changed my life.” Fighting a tumultuous time personally Landrus “put pencil to paper” as his mentor had recommended. The results of that focus are individual emotions in melody, composition and arrangement that range in beauty and elegance while making a personal statement.