Janzon, Tomas - Experiences
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"It's also obvious he has one of the best jazz-guitar tones you'll hear..."
"...one of the best jazz guitar records from the past year."
"On Experiences, Stockholm-born, New York-based guitarist Tomas Janzon plays tasty renditions of jazz standards with drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, bassist Jeff Littleton and pianist Art Hillery. He stakes out some original territory with unaccompanied guitar intro to "Here's That Rainy Day," then plays smooth, Wes-like octaves on the poignant Jimmy Van Heusen number. Janzon acquits himself with warm-toned swing on Montgomery's "Full House" and Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce," then digs into Bobby Timmons "Moanin" and Jimmy Smith's "Messin' Around" with soulful authority. He also offers graceful solo renditions of two Swedish folk songs."
"Experience is the byword on this latest release from guitarist Tomas Janzon, as his quartet recalls great guitar/organ combos from jazz's recent history as well as the guitarist-as-leader approach so effective for interpreting favorite songs. His 1959 Gibson L7 arch top guitar provides a comfortable texture as he improvises over familiar themes such as "Here's That Rainy Day," "Billie's Bounce" and Moanin'." Blues and a love for melodic emphasis take over and Janzon makes this session come alive. Art Hillery and Albert "Tootie" Heath provide elder veteran structure to the meeting, respectively, as the pianist/organist and drummer move things along seamlessly. Bassist Jeff Littleton doubles on rhythm and melodic soloing as he complements the unit with a smooth aura. With Janzon's velvet-like textures floating as if on water, the quartet's music moves with soul. In fact, one original song on the program, "Float," arose from that very idea; go with the flow and allow the music to react naturally. Elsewhere, the guitarist and his crew interpret "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" with dancelike maneuvers, Wes Mongomery's "Full House" with the coolness of a James Bond action star, Jimmy Smith's "Messin' Around" with a strut and ramble, and they call up the blues through their interpretation of "Moanin." Janzon moved to New York after 18 years of high visibility on the LA jazz scene, but he continues to carry the torch of great jazz wherever he goes. After all, that's where his heart lies.
(LA Jazz Scene)
Janzon, now residing in New York City, came to Los Angeles to study with Joe Diorio and has lived and worked there for the past 18 years. Splitting six months of the year touring the far reaches of the world; digging into musical projects, while enjoying the company of family and friends in New York City and his dear old Stockholm.