287

Robinson / Schuller / Bier: Children's Song

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Robinson / Schuller / Bier: Children's Song In mathematics, there are three basic types of triangles: scalene (no congruent sides), isosceles (two congruent sides), and equilateral (all sides congruent). If the trio of clarinetist Perry Robinson, bassist Ed Schuller, and drummer Ernst Bier became the subject of a mathematical paper, they would create a new type of triangle, one whose congruency of sides is not fixed but instead changes over time.

Recorded live in 1990 in Cologne, Germany, this performance demonstrates how jazz is often played without distinct leaders. Throughout the material—three tunes by Robinson, including "The Call, two by Schuller, one collective improvisation, and one cover each from Sidney Bechet and Jake Holmes—the emphasis changes. Robinson, whom one would assume by default is the lead voice, gets subsumed by forceful rhythms coming from either Schuller or Bier, or both. The foundational role of the bass can be subverted by direct communication between Robinson and Bier. The drummer's participation can be dominant or distant.

This makes for an album of fascinating textures and many possibilities. On a strictly "free" record, this would be a minimum requirement. But since the trio is playing written material, the dynamic shifts from acute to right to obtuse to equiangular make every tune seem like several, a refreshing departure from the head-solos-head or leader-rhythm section formats that can suck the life out of much jazz. Add in Robinson's mischievious personality and unique sound on the instrument—modern clarinet would be nowhere without him—and you have one math problem that both children and adults can enjoy.

Track Listing: The Call; The Feud; Overtonal; Children's Song; Soundpiece; Petite Fleur; In Time Out; Bows and Arrows.

Personnel: Perry Robinson: clarinet; Ed Schuller: bass; Ernst Bier: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Konnex Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Seven Storey Mountain V" CD/LP/Track Review Seven Storey Mountain V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana" CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!