If you are in the vicinity of Paradise Forum in Birmingham today, you might be aware of a strange energy in the air. No, it’s not the earth movers closing in on the old Birmingham library, it’s the force field that is Michael Janisch.
The ebullient bassist and his Paradigm Shift band are sharing their considerable forward momentum with students a Birmingham Conservatoire’s jazz department, and with a public audience in performance this evening in the Conservatoire’s recital hall.
Michael Janisch has a new double CD out, and it’s an astonishingly invigorating listen. The band is an international quintet with Paul Booth on saxophones and didgeridoo, Jason Palmer on trumpet, Leonardo Genovese on piano and keyboards, and Colin Stranahan on drums. The music was recorded over two nights at Pizza Express in Soho and then added to by Janisch and Alex Bonney using electronic effects and basses.
The results – the half-hour Janisch-written The Paradigm Shift Suite on the first disc, and a further seven pieces highlighting the compositional strengths within the band on the second – not only has great variety, from full-on quintet to individual and duet interludes, but it also has a remarkable cohesion, a tribute to Janisch’s over-arching vision as a composer and band leader.
Janisch needs players with out-of-the-ordinary technical facility as well as strong characters, and he has them in these players. It’s great to hear Janisch on electric as well as acoustic bass, and the electronics are fully integrated and well-used.
- Paradigm Shift is out now on Whirlwind Recordings.
- The Paradigm Shift tour, which has taken in 20 dates around the country before landing in Birmingham, has a slightly different band – Booth joined by Jason Yarde on saxophones, Bonney in for Palmer, and Cédric Hanriot in for Genovese – in Birmingham Conservatoire’s Recital Hall this evening at 8pm. For more information, go here.