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Jason Robinson: Ancestral Numbers I


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Jason Robinson: Ancestral Numbers I
Ancestral Numbers I by Jason Robinson is a jazz album that feels like a deep, reflective conversation with history itself. With his saxophone, Robinson pays homage to the jazz tradition and his family heritage, crafting a sound that's both personal and expansive.

The journey begins with "Second House," where the all-star ensemble, featuring pianist Josh White peppering the hornists, lays down a groove that's as profound as it is inviting. The track quickly establishes a soulful theme, with White's playful interjections weaving through robust support from the rhythm section. The bridge crescendos into solos that feel like spontaneous bursts of storytelling, echoing the album's theme of revisiting and celebrating roots.

"Potentially" introduces a different energy, bringing a lively bop infused with sharp, poignant spikes. Here, Robinson's sax solo truly shines—dynamic, spirited, and brimming with intensity, it captures the essence of a lively debate or an impassioned speech, underlining his skill and emotional depth.

On "Roots and Routes," the mood shifts as Robinson picks up the flute. Initially, there's a lighter, almost whimsical feel, thanks to Ches Smith's delicate glockenspiel. However, this serenity is short-lived; Robinson soon switches back to his sax, delivering powerful, roof-raising notes while trombonist Michael Dessen adds his fiery lines to the mix. This dramatic shift mirrors the album's exploration of personal and musical dichotomies.

Throughout the album, Robinson navigates between introspective passages and bursts of free jazz exploration. The music captures the complexity of his thematic exploration—balancing traditional jazz elements with avant-garde expressions. This oscillation not only displays Robinson's technical prowess but also reflects the layered nature of ancestry and personal history.

Each track on "Ancestral Numbers I" is meticulously crafted, resonating with past generations' echoes while exploring acoustic jazz's rich textures. The musicians' collaboration enhances the narrative, each adding their unique voice to the mix, enriching the album's tribute to familial and musical bonds.

Ancestral Numbers I is not just heard; it is experienced. It serves as an acute reflection on personal and collective journeys, encapsulating the power of music to convey deep familial connections and historical legacies. Through its acoustic purity and emotive depth, this album invites listeners into a reflective adventure of where they come from and the music that moves them.

Track Listing

Second House; Malachi; Potentiality; Remembering Water; Roots and Routes; Wattensaw; Vestibule; Ancestral Numbers (alt).


Jason Robinson
saxophone, tenor
Michael Dessen
Additional Instrumentation

Ches Smith: glockenspiel; Jason Robinson: soprano saxophone, alto flute.

Album information

Title: Ancestral Numbers I | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings




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