Michael is an electric and double bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, promoter, professor of music and record label owner
His multitude of talents across the music industry have seen him become one of the most active and in-demand musicians of his generation as well as a lynchpin figure between US and European artists.
As a bassist he is known for his versatility, energy and passion for playing time and groove with authenticity and dedication, no matter the context. A keen improviser, he has been described as ‘virtuosic and emphatic’ (Guardian) and 'one of the few bass players out there who plays both electric and upright with equal facility, passion and musicality' (Bass Musician Magazine).
As a composer and bandleader, Michael has released four critically acclaimed albums to date: The TransAtlantic Collective’s Traveling Song (co-led with Patrick Cornelius) in 2008, Purpose Built (debut solo album) in 2010, Banned in London (co-led with Aruan Ortiz and named one of the Best Albums of 2013 in Downbeat Magazine) and First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1 (co-led with Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer and Jeff Williams). His debut solo album established his international reputation as one of the premier bassist-bandleader-composers working in contemporary improvised music, and drew together his sure-footed bass work (both electric and acoustic), original compositions and arranging skills along with some characteristically strong performances from a gun-slinging group of new stars from both sides of the Atlantic, including Jim Hart, Walter Smith III, Mike Moreno, Jason Palmer, Paul Booth, Aaron Goldberg, Phil Robson and Johnathan Blake. Jazz Times Magazine called it 'the complete package' and Jazz Journal described it as a 'perfect blend of tradition and modernity' It was received with high critical acclaim by fans, press, musicians and fellow bassists, and made a number of ‘Best of the Year’ critics’ lists. Purpose Built was also the impetus for the creation of his record label, Whirlwind Recordings.
Since the formation of his record label, Michael has become known and in-demand for his skills as a producer and to date has produced over 50 sessions. As a seasoned performer, session musician, bandleader and record label owner who understands both the artistic and business elements of releasing music in today’s world, Janisch brings a unique set of skills to any project, whether just producing a session on recording day or helping an artist conceive an idea for a project and seeing it all the way to the release date. As a promoter, Michael has curated dozens of critically acclaimed live events, tours and festivals with some of the most potent names in the creative music world, performing at major venues and festivals on five continents.
Michael has performed or recorded with (selected list): Gary Burton, Quincy Jones, George Garzone, Roy Hargrove, Joe Locke, Phil Robson, Mark Turner, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Tim Warfield, John Taylor, Joe Lovano, Jaleel Shaw, Perico Sambeat, Tommy Smith, Hal Crook, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Vincent Herring, Evan Parker, Clarence Penn, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Donny McCaslin, Walter Smith III, Sir John Dankworth, Stan Sulzman, Ingrid Jenson, Leon Parker, Mike Moreno, Gwilym Simcock, Jason Palmer, Will Vinson, Christine Tobin, John Taylor, Ambrose Akinmusire, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Patrick Cornelius, Ralph Alessi, Jeff Ballard, Jeremy Pelt, Jason Rebello, Logan Richardson, Tim Garland, Aruan Ortiz, Alex Garnett, Jon Irabagon, Gary Husband, Greg Osby, Aaron Parks, Martin Taylor, Kurt Elling and Richard Galliano.
Session Bassist Highlights (selected list): The Hollywood Bowl, MTV, Michael Parkinson Show, David Letterman Show, BBC Documentaries, Strictly Come Dancing, The Brit Awards, Paramount Studios LA, The O2, Avatar, Angel, and Abbey Road Studios.