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Respected baritone saxophonist, composer and bandleader B.J. Jansen is back with "Common Ground", his tenth project as a leader. Over the course of a dozen carefully chosen selections, the appropriately titled "Common Ground" aims to explore the musical commonalities among six musical titans who each bring with them their diverse backgrounds and distinctive musical legacies. "We had a common interest in keeping with the tradition while still pushing the boundaries," says Jansen.
On "Common Ground", this musical melting pot gives way to an eclectic program that offers a little something for everybody. "When I wrote the music, I made sure there was something for each musician to latch onto," says Jansen. For the album's two-day recording session last summer, Jansen's approach was decidedly "hands off" as he allowed each musician to find their own groove.
With "Common Ground" clocking in as project number 10 for the 36-year-old, it can surely be considered something of a milestone- one that is commemorated with an all-star band. In addition, "Common Ground" also speaks to Jansen's tenacity to keep making music even when the current climate doesn't make it so easy to do so. Ralph Peterson recalls: "The first thing I noticed about B.J. was his hustle game. He's quite the hustler and I respect that." With the superb "Common Ground", it seems that Jansen's relentless hustle might just be paying off.