David Larsen, G2 and You Review
by Stamish Malcuss
David Larsen is a saxophonist, composer, and educator that is currently the director of instrumental studies at Spokane Falls Community College. He holds a Ph.D. from Washington State University and degrees from Pacific University, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University. David has been a presenter/performer for the Jazz Education Network, North American Saxophone Alliance, and several other conferences and festivals. Larsen has two EPs on the G2 record label. The first, G2 and You, was released in December 2021 internationally, and Bright Days was released in January 2022. Bright Days and G2 and You are now being combined into one album (Double EP) for U.S. consumption in an album format of eight songs titled G2 and You.
“In Your Own Sweet Way” is a relaxed performance of this Dave Brubeck classic. Larsen’s interpretation centers on comfortable rhythm and his alluring big baritone saxophone sound. Larsen’s solo brings in elements of the swing era and the be-bop era with his clear and harmonically accurate performance. The rhythm section swings hard, giving Larsen the space to express himself with his melodic approach. A fine example of Larsen’s methodology to the standard repertoire.
Larsen’s “Bright Days” shows his approach to melody is melodic and flowing in both his improvisation and writing. The straight eight feel gives another look to Larson’s smooth and lyrical soloing. His solo is technically superb, and his use of the entire range of the baritone is refreshing. Danny McCollim performs a driving and fluid solo that returns us to the restatement of the melody. A pleasing composition with a memorable melody and exciting sections.
G2 and You is an exceptional collection of originals and standards showcasing Larsen’s agile baritone saxophone playing, arranging, and composing. G2 and You has many high points and will reward a jazz aficionado’s appreciation for the history of jazz and the baritone saxophone.