What people are saying about PJ:
“PJ is a versatile young player with a mature playing style and appreciation for his jazz heritage that is apparent both in his group playing and in his own rich solo arrangements.”
“Rasmussen’s arranging is stellar, his horn charts precise and engaging…Jazz, progressive rock, retro-21st Century big-band hard bop? It is all there and all good.”
-C. MICHAEL BAILEY – ALL ABOUT JAZZ (JAN 14, 2014)
“[Another Adventure’s] only borders are the edges of Rasmussen’s imagination. Solid stuff throughout that really hit’s the target.”
-CHRIS SPECTOR – MIDWESTRECORD.COM (JAN 11, 2014)
“a fresh, energetic album…”
MIHÁLY CZÉKUS – HFP ONLINE (HUNGARY) (FEB 4, 2014)
“a fascinating journey…”
-LEONID AUSKERN – JAZZ QUAD (RUSSIA) (JAN 31, 2014)
“It’s hard not to get excited by a guitarist as young as Rasmussen who was the chops and compositional skills to make a record this good. It’s Blue Note jazz updated for a modern era…”
-VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE (OCT, 2013)
“Clapton Meets Blue Note…If you’re a fan of vintage Blue Note sounding jazz, but don’t want to look back, check out this debut album by guitarist PJ Rasmussen…quite exciting. Encore!”
– JAZZ WEEKLY
“From the beginning to the end this trip is a great musical experience exceptional jazz compositions and interpretations of Mr. Rasmussen and his band take you to unknown places that provoke you to explore the subtle combination of the blues spirit, jazz and funk music.”
-THE WORLD MUSIC REPORT
“Adventures in flight is…a rich interpretation of bebop jazz through a bluesman’s lens in a scorching series of original compositions.”
– THE EXAMINER (JUN 5, 2013)
“Guitarist PJ Rasmussen slays his debut outing Adventures in Flight with an incredibly diverse selection of originals…a special release worthy of high praise…incredibly innovative and daring”
– @CRITICAL JAZZ (MAY 10, 2013)
PJ Rasmussen’s freshman CD, “Adventures in Flight” on Third Freedom Music, is a wonderful mix of jazz that is reminiscent of the ’60’s combined with a little funk and rock rhythms.
While listening to this CD, I felt transported to a dimly lit club, somewhere in Soho at the height of the jazz explosion, with a beverage of choice in hand, and eyes closed while my senses took in every note. Oh my, I almost forgot, wearing my black beret.
PJ has assembled a sextet of musicians to accompany his brilliance on guitar. Steve Johns on drums, Adrian Moring on bass, Chris Pattishall on piano, Nate Giroux on tenor saxophone, Danny Reyes on trumpet and flugelhorn and Kelly Green, vocals.
Rasmussen has shown himself to be a gifted composer mixing lyricism, rhythmic variety and depth of mood, offering both the opportunity for musical exploration and innovative excitement. If you are in the mood for a classical jazz evening, give “Adventures in Flight” a listen.
– THE ENTERTAINMENT BANK (MAY 16, 2013)
“an excellent jazz album…When Rasmussen plays a solo, the man is amazing”
– THISISBOOKSMUSIC (MAY 26, 2013)
Though this is nominally a guitar-led fusiony six-piece small big band, PJ Rasmussen doesn’t at all dominate and in fact co-features a cat we’ve heard before over in Alex Snydman’s CD (here): Chris Pattishall, who’s appreciably more boppy here than in Alex’s stand. Though I’m impressed with Pattishall in solos, as in Adventures in Flight, I also have to say his chord choices behind the band are exactly right, perfect, always enhancing the modalities, slipping in a layer of light and leashed energy twixt rhythm section and front line. To pigeonhole this band other than I already have—as a fusion unit but not of the norm—would be a difficult task, as its sound represents a very broad spectrum of jazz musics. I’m at the moment listening to Are You the One? and getting a lot of Freddie Hubbard not only in Danny Reyes trumpet but also through Rasmussen’s charts, along with the Grant Green-ish guitar basing he favors.
Are You the One is followed by Sunday Driver, and, man, that overflows with various influxes: a bit of Curlew in odd sax notes from Nate Giroux, some slowed-down X-Legged Sally, a bit of Mats/Morgan, Philip Catherine, cinematics, all kinds of stuff. The weirdest part is everything appears to be a form of mutant fuse-bop. Look for Weather Report, Gil Evans, CTI elements, G.E. Smith & the SatNiteLive band, etc.—and when Stolen Miracles winds down as a gabbling demented mariachi combo besotted on knee-buckling tequila…well, what the hell??? Cool as all get-out, and I woulda dug 15 more minutes of the madness.
Bass player Adrian Moring’s not given enough soloing time, nor is drummer Steve Johns (and I could easily have done without the thankfully brief vocal recitations in two cuts), but when they do step out, especially Moring, their lines are interestingly contrasty. Moring possesses a knack for simple progressions enhancing the narrative more than would be expected while Johns is the rolling wave beneath them all. As mentioned, though, Rasmussen’s no gloryhog, so the surface contours of the CD shift constantly rather than being frozen in accommodating just six strings, as happens so often in this kind of venture. Nonetheless, ask me to name just two reference points, and don’t be surprised when I stare at you, flummoxed, all kinds of possibilities running through synapses and cortexes.
– ACOUSTICMUSIC.COM (MAY 28, 2013)