New York-based saxophonist, composer Pete Robbins has been on a fast- track, surging to the upper echelon of global jazz talent. And Pyramid rekindles impressions of drummer, composer John Hollenbeck's early 2013 release Songs I Like A Lot, where specific pop and rock songs from yesteryear, inspire the artists to execute a personal reinterpretation or refresh via the essence of modern jazz frameworks. Moreover, Robbins reaps the positive benefits of a superstar-like supporting band, including the recent recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" grant, pianist Vijay Iyer.
The quartet molds complex unison progressions, pensive overtones and a breezy rendering of crooner guitarist Glen Campbell's highly melodic, Jimmy Webb penned pop hit "Wichita Lineman," which charted on the airwaves in 1968. Here, the saxophonist states the primary theme with airy intonations and raises the pitch, abetted by drummer Tyshawn Sorey's snappy backbeats. Robbins also dances around the core melody and launches into a soul-jazz vibe, then hands it over to Iyer during the bridge, who in turn, reformulates the entire periphery of the principle motif as the musicians heat matters up prior to closeout. It's just one of many stirring takes on pop and pop-rock lore, brimming with the artists' cunning improvisational segments and enlivening reinventions.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.