How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Scott Robinson has been affected a bit by the Roland Kirk syndrome. His interest in and ability to play just about every saxophone ever inventedand some that haven'thas obscured his talent to listeners more comfortable with musicians that can be identified by a single instrument, in spite of being very active recently both as a leader and member of Joe Lovano's Nonet.
Pianist Emil Viklicky is the best known jazz musician working in the Czech Republic today but virtually unknown outside Central Europe, despite having developed a delightfully original style by combining elements of modern jazz with the melodies of Moravian folk songs and having been commissioned to compose a piece for "Let Freedom Swing," part of the festival that marked the opening of the new building that houses Jazz at Lincoln Center. Fortunately Summertime , recorded for Radio Prague, is available to shed light on these two unjustly under-recognized artists.
The title track leads off with Robinson blowing softly and intimately on cornet before switching to tenor to play the familiar melody. He alternates so seamlessly between the two horns that even though the trumpet and saxophone are never heard together it's hard to believe there aren't two musicians at work. Bassist Frantisek Uhlir takes the lead on "East of the Sun," plinking out the lyrics pizzicato-style before Robinson comes in on the bossa nova beat. On "Just for Us," Uhlir's sharp solo offsets Robinson's trad soprano. "In a Sentimental Mood" pops out of the speakers when Robinson's full-force tenor takes over from his wispy preamble and Viklicky's opening light-touch accompaniment.
"Never Been in Love" is taken from the dependable Tadd Dameron songbook, and Robinson can't resist manipulating a wind machine he found in the studio on his own "Dark Composition." By the time Robinson and Viklicky pair up for the reflective coda, "Under Our Window," tastefulness and professionalism have been stamped on every cut.
Track Listing: Summertime; Not Yet; Blues Refraction; Pod nasima okny; Out of Nowhere; East of the Sun; Just for Us; In a Sentimental Mood; Scott's Blues; Never Been In Love; Dark Composition; Under Our Windows.
Personnel: Scott Robinson: saxophones, cornet; Emil Viklicky: piano, celeste;
Frantisek Uhlir: bass; Laco Tropp: drums.