The title aptly describes her concept--tthis is complex but melodious modern jazz. A few years ago she came home to play at the Firefly Club and impressed many listeners. She has a rich, deep-toned voice on the tenor saxophone, which she plays with an easy virtuosity. Equally at home with the clarinet, she is never flashy, using her impressive technique to weave lines that are harmonically and rhythmically complex but always melodic. Some time ago an avant-garde saxophonist told me that he admired the older swing-era musicians because they seemed to play as if they were having a conversation or telling stories. For all its modern complexity, Reichman's solos are just like that--they follow a line, sometimes trekking back, sometimes taking side roads, but ultimately getting there by creating unique architectural structures.
Janelle Reichman has chosen to come home to the Kerrytown Concert House for her CD release concert on August 26 with a stellar group: Paul Finkbeiner, trumpet, Tad Weed, piano, Paul Keller, bass, and Pete Siers, drums.
[Originally published in August, 2011.]