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Respected Baritone Saxophonist B.J. Jansen Emerges with his Tenth Project "Common Ground" due out June 23, 2017
(Published: April 14, 2017)

Innovative baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen is proud to announce the June 23rd release of "Common Ground", his tenth project as a leader. To mark this momentous occasion, Jansen has assembled an all-star sextet comprised of NEA Jazz Master trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, renowned drummer Ralph Peterson, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, bassist Dezron Douglas and pianist Zaccai Curtis.
Over the course of a dozen carefully chosen selections, the appropriately titled "Common Ground" aims to explore the musical commonalities among six musical titans who each bring with them their diverse backgrounds and distinctive musical legacies. "We had a common interest in keeping with the tradition while still pushing the boundaries," says Jansen. All members of the sextet have benefitted from stellar mentorships that have colored their idea of the tradition; Jansen by pianist and educator Frank Stagnitta, Marsalis by his father Ellis Marsalis, Peterson by Art Blakey, Eubanks by Mulgrew Miller, and both Curtis and Douglas by Jackie McLean.
On "Common Ground", this musical melting pot gives way to an eclectic program that offers a little something for everybody. "When I wrote the music, I made sure there was something for each musician to latch on to," says Jansen. For the album's two-day recording session last summer, Jansen's approach was decidedly "hands off" as he allowed each musician to find their own groove. "I was really open to contributions from everybody," he says. This on-the-spot approach gave way to some of the album's stand-out moments; one of which is the completely improvised title track. The song "Common Ground" opened up a new portal for Jansen- a change in his compositional process that he is eager to explore.
Change is nothing new to Jansen. Originally from Cincinnati, Jansen's first move was to Philadelphia in 2004, where he found "the heart beat of jazz". After learning on the Philly streets for three years, Jansen relocated once again. This time, he landed in New York City, where he's been a resident for the past decade. After taking part in the downtown jam-session circuit for over a year, Jansen found that his sound was better received in Harlem. "I spent all my time in Harlem," Jansen recalls.

​As Jansen settled uptown, he became a regular at the legendary St. Nicks; a spot he fondly refers to as "one of the last bastions" of the Harlem jazz club scene. He, along with a crew of Philadelphia musicians, began frequenting and eventually sitting in on the regular Sunday gig held by vocalist TC III, son of drummer Bill "Mr. C" Carney and B3 organist Trudy Pitts. Carney's classic "Bucketfull of Soul" is re-imagined on "Common Ground" and played as a testament to that distinctive "Philly vibe". "The first time I heard it I knew I wanted to arrange and record it," Jansen says.

More Information: http://lydialiebman.com/index.php/project/3664/

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