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Immersed in the myths of ancient Greece, multi-reedman Jason Robinson underscores this major work based on the prophet Tiresias, who lived as both a man and woman. Nonetheless, Robinson has proven that change and risk-taking via the power of his pen and acute technical skills have become a de facto standard. From a jazz standpoint, he employs an impressive support structure to carry out his strategy. Robinson's nonet is postured to mimic the finesse of a big band or blow walls down with concentrated small group improvisational blowouts.
The leader's compositions convey a striking degree of contrasts. Whether its raucous tuba dialogues, sprinting rhythmic thrusts or carefully coordinated thematic developments, he uncannily merges catchy, tension-building themes with a no- nonsense mode of operations. Each instrumentalist is a vital cog in the wheel of success, especially since the program proceeds with the impetus of an action-packed cinematic thriller. Spanning multi-timbre hues, whirling flutes, a whack of a glockenspiel and punishing crescendos, Robinson engineers a vibrant montage of memorable works, partly seasoned with punishing horns choruses.
At times, the band zigzags through loose-groove dyads and a laidback gait, but kicks out the jams on the John Coltrane
's animated electric guitar soloing spearheads a cosmic reckoning, sparked with guileful electronics maneuvers.
A recurring implication may be that the seatbelt should be fastened before listening to this tune. Imagery of this nature may also apply to "Elbow Grease," as a seething Johnny-on-the-spot breakout is composed of asymmetrical parts bop, free jazz, and a compact bass and horns ostinato. Robinson is a modern-era apostle, summoning a new jazz order.