While we've barely opened the door to 2019, we already have a serious contender for the year's strongest debut here.
Brittany Anjou has explored everything from Ahmad Jamal to Bikini Kill at the piano on three continents, between roiling original compositions inspired by Bartok, Stravinsky, Red Garland and McCoy Tyner. It makes great artistic sense that the title of her first major piano trio album and the five-part suite contained within is in Esperanto, the "constructed" international language. Just as Anjou's English-language title "Reciprocal Love" becomes Enamiĝo Reciprokataj (En-äh-mee-joh Reh-sih-pro-käh-tye), so too does the mainstream language of the piano jazz she loves get translated into something strikingly different and psychically original. Jazz fans will detect familiar influences in what Anjou calls her "inner trio dialogs" featuring bassist Greg Chudzik and drummer Nick Anderson. Anjou's songs, all originals, comment on the art of the trio even as they bask in its glories. With its minimalist repetitions, free-jazz-meets-Rachmaninoff flourishes and electronic framing, there's a trippy sense of expansiveness in the music. Her compositions are both dreamlike and bracingly wide-awake. Enamiĝo Reciprokataj (En-äh-mee-joh Reh-sih-pro-käh-tye) is the first of a trio of thematic language albums Anjou plans on releasing. "On a planet full of original musicians, Brittany stands out." -Take Five, Victoria, BC
1. STARLIGHT 3:08
2. RECIPROKATAJ I: CYRENE (FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLY) 3:12
3. SNUFFALUFFAGAS 9:16
4. RECIPROKATAJ II: GIRLS WHO PLAY VIOLIN 4:24
5. BALLIOU FOR BARTOK 6:13
6. HARD BOILED SOUP 3:53
7. RECIPROKATAJ III: HARFA 6:10
8. RECIPROKATAJ IV: OLIVE YOU 10:37
9. RECIPROKATAJ V: FLOWERY DISTRESS 6:57
10. RECIPROKA ELEKTRA 3:51
All music composed by Brittany Anjou, Brittany Anjou Music (SESAC)
BRITTANY ANJOU - Piano
GREGORY CHUDZIK - Bass (ex. 9)
NICHOLAS ANDERSON - Drums (ex. 9)
BEN PEROWSKY - Drums (9,10)
ARI FOLMAN-COHEN - Bass (9,10)
Produced by Brittany Anjou
Recorded by Tom Tedesco at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, NJ
on November 30, 2015
except (9), Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording, Brooklyn, NY
on March 20, 2016
Additional recording (10) by Andy Taub
Sound design (1,10) by Dan Brantigan
Mixed by Dan Brantigan in Manhattan & Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Kevin Reeves at Universal Music, New York, NY
Track 10 is an electronic mix composite of both
trios and both recording session dates
Cover Painting by Anya Roberts-Toney
"In the Room Women Come and Go (ITR2),"
Artist photograph by Jeff Chase
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Original cover concept by O Horvath
All About Jazz (Dan Bilawsky)
There's a fascinating disjunction shaping the work of pianist Brittany Anjou. In one bend of being, her endeavors reflect extreme faith in the concept of catholicity. As a student of Esperanto—the "universal language" devised by Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof in the late 19th century—and a musician warmly embracing an ecumenical approach, open lin ...
New York City Jazz Record (Donald Elfman)
For pianist Brittany Anjou's new recording, she uses Esperanto for the title (translated as "Unrequited Love") as a symbol for the international language utilized to create her music. The not-quite-centerpiece of the recording is the five-part Reciprokataj Suite—not-quite because the sections are ‘interrupted' by other originals yet the albu ...
Hot House Jazz Guide (NYC) (Elzy Kolb)
Pianist Brittany Anjou divides her time between her Brooklyn home and a long-term gig in Kuwait, where she teaches jazz theory and more to kids and adults. "The students are hungry for jazz, and want to understand theory. Any time I travel and play abroad, people are really listening, it's like you're valued more there," she says. "In Kuwait, the p ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
In which we find our fearless leader making a piano trio debut that goes somewhere else but really doesn't. Not willing to take on art for art's sake, this tyro that's sought out and studied with dyed in the wool pros shows that you don't need to microdose acid to expand your mind. Almost like taking the history of piano trio, putting it in a Yatze ...
Musically Speaking (Mel Minter)
When an improvising jazz musician relaxes the reins and lets the music go where it wants, the level of excitement can jump dramatically. Spitfire pianist/composer Brittany Anjou does just that on her new album, Enamiĝo Reciprokataj (pronounced en-äh-mee-joh reh-sih-pro-käh-tye and roughly translated from the Esperanto as either "reciprocal love" ...
Jazz Trail (FILIPE FREITAS)
The well-traveled American pianist/composer Brittany Anjou titled her debut album in Esperanto because that language mirrors jazz improvisation in the way that both promote intercultural dialogue, democracy, and self-expression. Inspired by Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka ballet, Enamigo Reciprokataj means reciprocal love and its content is defined ...
France Musiques (Alex Dutilh)
The first major album of the young New York pianist and composer Brittany Anjou, is a suite in five parts composed around esperanto, the international "built" language. As for the English title of Brittany Anjou's album, "Reciprocal Love", which becomes "Enamiĝo Reciprokataj" (pronounced En-äh-mee-joh Reh-sih-pro-kah-tye ), the same goes for f ...
Amazon (Debra Jan Bibel)
A Sophisticated Debut: New Terrority for Jazz Invention The title of this album, Enamigo Reciprokoataj, seems to be a gimisch of languages and in a way it is, being Esperanto. To my knowledge, it is second Esperanto-related musical recording; Lou Harrison's La Koro Sutro is the other. Brittany Anjou, pianist and trio leader, is the composer and ar ...
Downbeat (Philip Freeman)
Why did pianist Brittany Anjou title her album Enamigo Reciprokataj, which translates from Esperanto to "reciprocal love?" Even after giving it a listen, the answer's still unclear. Anjou's debut album, inspired by a Stravinsky ballet, is a strong, classicist piano-trio effort that nods to the work of Ahmad Jamal, Vince Guaraldi and even modern ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
RINGER OF THE WEEK Here's a rewarding and exciting trio album by pianist/composer Brittany Anjoy. She works with a core team of Gregory Chudzik/b and Nicholas Anderson/dr on almost all of the tracks, and her composing skills are matched by her warm technique. The album is bookended by some electronic musings, with "Starlight" leading into an up ...
JazzTimes (Ken Micallef)
There's a wonderful sense of becoming, of exploration and playfulness on Minot, North Dakota-born pianist Brittany Anjou's debut recording. She crams so much talent and energy into the album's 10 songs that you wonder if she'll ever come up for air. Enamiĝo Reciprokataj (Esperanto for "reciprocal love") is the daring work of a 35-year-old visionar ...