Jul 19, 2022
Red List, the new Palmetto album by multi-woodwind specialist Brian Landrus is dedicated to bringing awareness to some of the world’s most endangered animal species. Landrus is backed by a top-notch band of Ryan Keberle (trombone), Geoffrey Keezer (keyboards), Nir Felder (guitar), Rudy Royston (drums), Ron Blake and Jaleel Shaw (saxophones), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), John Hadfield (percussion), Steve Roach (trumpet) and vocalist Corey King.
Long an animal lover, Brian found himself learning more about the plight of many potentially doomed species. Seeking a way to call attention to the world-wide problem, he decided to do an album dedicated to the plight of 13 endangered species. The album title comes from The Red List, compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk of animal, fungus and plant species. He reached out to friends and musicians recommended to him, and found likeminded individuals to work on the album. Released last month, Landrus will be donating 20% of all proceeds and 100% of the profits to Save The Elephants, which has been helping to ensure a future for African Elephants for nearly 30 years.
In ou conversation, Brian explains how the compositions flowed once he began working on the album, and how the entire thing came together in the studio during only a few rehearsals and sessions. Despite its serious themes, the music captures the joys of these animals’ existence rather than dwell on their possibly grim fate.
A veteran of the New York scene since moving to town in 2007 following four years at New England Conservatory in Boston, Landrus has performed with some of the world’s great jazz musicians, including Fred Hersch, Esperanza Spalding, Billy Hart, George Garzone, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Ken Schaphorst Orchestra, and his teacher and mentor Bob Brookmeyer. He also toured with such national pop acts as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Coasters, The Drifters and Martha Reeves. Landrus, who hails from Reno, Nevada, earned his doctorate from Rutgers University and is joining the faculty at the Berklee School of Music in Boston this fall.
Red List is his sixth album as a leader, and he continues to grow as a player on baritone sax, baritone clarinet and other woodwinds, as well as a composer. The podcast features musical selections from Red List including the reggae-tinged “Leatherbacks,” for the Leatherback Sea Turtle, and “The Distant Deeps,” where vocalist Corey King delivers Herschel Garfein’s evocative lyrics with uncommon sensitivity.