Thirty-something bassist Michael Janisch emerged as a force to be reckoned with with his 2010 solo debut album, Purpose Built, yet almost slipped away under the radar while setting up his own record label, only to build up a headwind of critical approval last year with his latest release, Paradigm Shift.
A fine upright and electric bass player, Michael’s approach is to build everything around his effortless sense of melody, rhythmic ideas and a killer band of hugely imaginative players. “You get some bass records and the bass has the lead line on every song,” says Michael. “I don’t do any of that on the new album. I wanted to represent more of what I’ve been doing as a sideman. Sometime’s I’ll play a melody-driven bass line, but I’m more interested in writing for the ensemble.”
Listening to the latest album, with its flow of styles that dart into funk, neo-classical and vibrant fusion, it sounds as though Michael’s been saving up a whole load of new ideas for this release. It’s a fittingly loose-limbed workout from a bandleader and bassist who has come of age, and in doing so has produced his most mature and satisfying album to date.