New York City Jazz Record Review of COME TOGETHER MOVE APART

Review by Terrell Holmes, New York City Jazz Record April 2011

When one hears guitarist Nat Janoff play, one is as
likely to think of John Coltrane as Pat Metheny or Wes
Montgomery. Janoff’s style of playing compact layers
of rapid-fire notes, which recalls Trane’s “sheets of
sound", is a technique he uses throughout his latest
CD Come Together Move Apart.
Janoff wrote all the tunes on this disc and he takes
unique approaches to structure and melody. For
example, the rhythm section approaches the theme of
“Mood" without slavishly adhering to it. As Janoff
builds his solo, John Escreet lays down piano shadings
that are angular with a stark yet engaging tonality,
which bassist François Moutin follows with an equally
dynamic solo. Janoff sizzles on “Shorter Times";
Moutin, egged on by Escreet, scampers along as
drummer Chris Carroll thrashes behind them. Janoff
switches up nicely on the optimistic “Hope Fills My
Heart" by distorting his electric guitar to rock pedigree.
Moutin outdoes himself here with the speed and skill
of his plucking and Escreet adds pleasingly off-center
phrasing.
Janoff is dynamite on upbeat bright tunes like
“Partly Cloudy" and the closing tune “Transit" yet, as
periodically incendiary as this quartet can be, the soft-
voiced and sparkling “Sketch 1" and “Sketch 2" show
that they can play with subtlety. One of the more
intriguing tunes on the disc is the moody and clever
“Sunday Morning", where Janoff riffs at one tempo,
the rest of the band seems to play at another but
everyone’s actually on the same page. It’s this kind of
spirit and creativity that makes Come Together Move
Apart such a pleasure.