All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

145

Pete Robbins: Centric

David Adler By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Pete Robbins: Centric Pete Robbins, a Bostonian and a recent graduate of Tufts and the New England Conservatory, has now settled in Brooklyn. Judging from Centric, the alto saxophonist and composer will be a welcome presence on the creative music scene. Paul Bley's liner notes give Robbins a strong and well-earned endorsement.

Leading a quintet through eight intense and thoughtful originals, Robbins displays a keen imagination and a rousing command of his horn. He also surrounds himself with serious talent, most notably tenor titan George Garzone, who blows like a demon throughout the session. Robbins voices many of the melodic lines for alto and tenor in octaves, bringing the sonic field into balance while giving the music cohesion and character. Guitarist Mike Gamble plays crisply and leaves the harmonic spectrum wide open, comping only on the more tonal pieces, where it's necessary. Listeners will also remember Gamble for his creative arsenal of sounds - the accelerating loop effects of "Screwgun" and the post-Hendrix sound-washes of "Swimthere" in particular.

Bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest and drummer Pete Zimmer are also indispensable, navigating Robbins' edgy, often odd-metered rhythmic constructions with a flowing, breathing finesse. "Centric" gets the program off to a calmly swinging start, but the album often ventures into dirtier, funkier waters, on tracks like "Hone" and the dark rhythm section feature "Somnabulist". Robbins also cultivates a lyrical, straight-eighth vibe on "Reach" and "Geist", both mellower but still tension-filled. The surprisingly upbeat finale, "Themefrom", could indeed be a TV or movie theme. But an explosive half-time funk break, with raucous fuzz-guitar wailing courtesy of Gamble, repeatedly breaks up the happy samba feel. This is a good example of Robbins doing his best not to settle into expected patterns or categories.


Track Listing: 1. Centric 2. Screwgun 3. Reach 4. Somnambulist 5. Swimthere 6. Hone 7. Geist 8. Themefrom

Personnel: Pete Robbins

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Telepathy Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pyramid
Pyramid
Hate Laugh Music
2014
buy
Live In Basel
Live In Basel
Hate Laugh Music
2012
buy
siLENT Z Live
siLENT Z Live
Hate Laugh Music
2010
buy
siLENTZ
siLENTZ
Hate Laugh Music
2010
buy
Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy
Do The Hate Laugh...
Fresh Sound New Talent
2008
buy
Waits & Measures
Waits & Measures
Playscape Recordings
2007
buy
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
David Binney David Binney
saxophone
Mark Turner Mark Turner
sax, tenor
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Ben Monder Ben Monder
guitar
Dom Minasi Dom Minasi
guitar
Chris Cheek Chris Cheek
saxophone
Kneebody Kneebody
band/orchestra

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.