Michael Janisch's Paradigm Shift Michael Janisch has established himself as a tireless creative force across the developing international spheres of


Michael Janisch's Paradigm Shift


Michael Janisch has established himself as a tireless creative force across the developing international spheres of contemporary improvised and experimental music. Based in London (originally from the USA), he successfully traverses this creative topography as electric & double bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, session musician and record label owner; and with an infectiously enthusiastic and influential spirit, he continues to energize and shape the current, bustling, international scene, giving rise to London Jazz's statement: "Contributions like Janisch's - both as bassist and as producer - to the musical life of our great city are beyond price."

His current cross-genre project as composer and bassist, Paradigm Shift - which ambitiously combines electro-acoustic, contemporary jazz, free improvisation, future-funk, multi-metered groove, punk and electronica - has seen the release of the eponymous, far-reaching double album (October 2015). This world-class sextet line-up of Paul Booth (reeds), Jason Palmer (trumpet), Leonardo Genovese (keys), Colin Stranahan (drums) and Alex Bonney (electronics/effects) has already garnered airplay on BBC Radio 6's Gilles Peterson Worldwide, JazzFM, NPR and WDR Radio, and continues to prompt glowing responses from the music industry and fans alike:

"Paradigm Shift is as exciting a jazz record as any from the last 10 years."
- ★★★★★ Jazz Journal

"Sheer dynamism" - ★★★★ All About Jazz

"Wide ranging, creative and thrilling, a superb achievement." - Jazz Views

"An electro-acoustic mix of dazzling improvisations, post-processed electronics, with unique and creative compositions." - URB Magazine

"Exceptional" - Musik Reviews

"Brilliant." - The Guardian

"A highlight of Janisch's eventful career to date."
- ★★★★ JazzWise Magazine

"Surely this double album is one of the truly successful works in this year within this genre." - Music an Sich

Paradigm Shift's extensive European touring schedule, too, has led to considerable and effusive feedback:

"Paradigm Shift, is a groove-centric ride in a souped-up engine. Its moving parts are clearly in all working order, shifting and flowing like they were built that way. The rhythm section of Janisch, drummer Colin Stranahan, and pianist Leo Genovese is outstanding." - NextBop

"A stellar international sextet... catch them if you can."
- ★★★★ The Jazz Mann

"A wealth of imaginative, engaging jazz has been produced by bands that expertly bridge the styles of free-flowing acoustic jazz and electronic styles, but Michael Janisch's Paradigm Shift must surely be one of the most accomplished." - The Jazz Breakfast

"Paradigm Shift finished off the night with a tour de force display of instrumental firepower that ranks alongside any jazz gig I've been to in the past, and I'm including some very big names in that list." - Mumble Music

"Michael Janisch is simply a monster player. His bass skills on both electric and acoustic seem monumental and at the same time, effortless." - What's On

Click below to watch a highlight video of

Paradigm Shift live in London


Band Photos


About: Paradigm Shift the album:

Some four years in gestation, the ambitious new double-disc project Paradigm Shift from London-based US bassist, composer and producer Michael Janisch sees the Whirlwind Recordings founder enter the spotlight with his multi-level approach to composition and performance. Janisch continues to garner enthusiastic press for his mastery of both double and electric bass, having released his solo album, Purpose Built in 2010 and co-led three further recordings to date - The TransAtlantic Collective's Traveling Song with Patrick Cornelius; the live quintet album Banned in London with pianist Aruan Ortiz; and First Meeting with the iconic Lee Konitz. Increasingly growing in stature as a creative artist, with this expansive new album he strengthens his already budding reputation as one of the preeminent bassist/bandleaders of his generation working in contemporary, improvised music.

On Paradigm Shift Janisch has taken as its basis a live quintet recording across two nights at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho (London), crafting and honing it into an absorbing 90-minute blend of live and post-processed electro-acoustic music. It's a particularly creative compositional vision which strongly reflects the bassist's personality, hewn from years of improvisational development and based on his own life-changing experiences, in particular the recent birth of his two daughters and sudden death of his older brother Joseph. The soundscapes he creates meld electronica, free improv, rock, punk and funk while retaining experimental and improvisational integrity throughout. And the conceptual and dialogical coalescence of all fourteen tracks here clearly comes from within, influenced by a vivid synaesthetic awareness - "It's been much more organic on a compositional level to just allow these new experiences to guide the wiriting process." - hence the fascinating, modulating moods and styles.

Predominantly a quintet album with engaging solo and duo interludes and segues, Janisch could hardly have selected a more cohesive and eclectic personnel to realise his artistic intentions: versatile British saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist (including didgeridoo) Paul Booth; leading US trumpeter Jason Palmer (from Janisch's 2010 solo debut, Purpose Built); free-spirited Argentinian piano/keyboard whizz Leonardo Genovese; and the sensitive precision of US drummer Colin Stranahan. Plus, the impulsive electronics of the London-based Alex Bonney feature on interludial tracks and post production effects (he performs with the band on tour to contribute these particularly effective manipulations).

Disc One houses Janisch's Paradigm Shift Suite - a live thirty-minute expedition without boundaries which, following an effects-laden electric bass and didgeridoo intro, burst into an effusing, almost raga-like 'Paradigm Shift Dance Party', resounding to Jason Palmer's high trumpet; and 'Celestial Dictator' hits an infectious, multi-metered Hammond groove, prompting the hard-edged tenor of Paul Booth (his solo an album highlight in itself). Dissonant, screeching horns characterize the breathless rage of 'Movement III's Bailout', eventually quelled by the relative flute-becalmed 'Spring' and 'Inner Sanctum', while 'Liza-Flo' reprises earlier themes with impudent percussion until the quietly confident, solo electric bass outro 'Be Free' pictorializes Janisch's ethos of entitlement to liberty.

Disc Two invites extended compositional contributions from the band, with Leonardo Genovese's 'Chacaraca' displaying South American hues; and 'Mike's Mosey' finds the bassist's colleages responding to his scampering free double bass improvisation in a cascade of moodly electronic soundscapes and unpredictable twists and turns. Echoic, chordal bass in 'The JJ I Knew' meditates through electronic colorwashes before hitting the fifteen-minute, playfully fast swing of Jason Palmer's 'Crash'. Leonardo Genovese's 'One-Eyed Calf' has to be one of the most extraordinarily unpredictable keyboard interludes out there, leading to Paul Booth's epic 'Awakening' which closes the set anthemically amidst a raft of deft soloing.

Janisch has become one of the foremost and genuine bassist-bandleaders of his generation, and it's testament to the invention of this strong sextet that the essence of this uncompromising double album was captured over just two straight nights of live performance. The combined interaction of these musically strong personalities paried with the creative post-production electronics surely provides the catalytic spark for infinite live and recorded freedom to follow.

UK Bookings: Danielle White Click here for email
Mainland Europe Bookings: Ivan Pivotti Click here for email
USA Bookings: Nathan Johnson Click here for email
Whirlwind Recordings


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