Nick Sanders and Logan Strosahl: Janus

By Jamie Evans
Nick Sanders and Logan Strosahl met 10 years ago when they were both students at Boston’s New England’s Conservatory.

Although this newly released album’s eclecticism ranges across the board from medieval to modern French “straight” composers to standards and originals, they never lose the appeal of improvisation in its many forms.

Being basically a died-in-the-wool jazz lover I was surprised at how much I enjoyed some of the tracks. Sigma and RPD both sound like modern classics but the former is apparently based on a video game series and the latter influenced by “zombie apocalypse.” New territory for me but beautiful sounds.

The title track Janus (the two-faced ancient Roman god of time) moves from bebop to out-of-tempo musings to McKenna style bass piano style with a very non-McKenna right hand – an intriguing approach.

No young musician wants to sound like his Dad’s generation but the duo’s approach in Thelonious, Be-Bop and Stardust is both respectful and original.

This reviewer’s favourite track is a gorgeous version of the Songbook standard Old Folks which proves that however far and wide Sanders and Strosahl venture into the musical firmament, when it comes to finding the sweet sorrow in a beautiful ballad, these boys have got it in spades.

Logan is keen to point out that they are not trying to give everything a “jazz interpretation” but much of it is most agreeable to this jazz interpreter!

An outstandingly good album.