Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

304

Herb Robertson NY Downtown Allstars: Elaboration

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Dubbing a band the "NY Downtown Allstars" is certainly bold, but it would be hard to argue against this lineup: the band, led by under-recognized trumpeter Herb Robertson, features Tim Berne on saxophone, Mark Dresser on bass, Tom Rainey on drums, and relatively-new-kid-on-the-block Sylvie Courvoisier on piano. The group was brought together at the invitation of Vancouver Jazz Festival organizer Ken Pickering in 2004. Something must have clicked, because the musicians reconvened shortly after for a session that produced the 48-minute piece that comprises this disc.

Although the festival was a first meeting for the band, its members are riddled with shared history. Berne and Rainey have a strong, long-standing relationship that goes back to the '80s, when they played in a number of projects with the leader. Berne and Rainey also have been playing recently with Courvoisier (sometimes joined by electronic percussionist Ikue Mori), and Robertson and Courvoisier have played together in various settings for a decade. Dresser has less of a common heritage, but he can do almost anything; until his recent relocation to San Diego, he was one of the most valuable sidemen in town.

The results on "Elaboration" are rich and dense. The piece has something of the feel of Berne's long-form compositions, but with quicker changes between the various settings. At times it's highly rhythmic; at other points it emits pedal-to-metal energy. The horns work perfectly together, like—at times—the rhythmic counterpoints of Rainey and Courvoisier. The only drawback is that some of Courvoisier's more nuanced playing gets lost, a fact she makes up for 35 minutes in with a great, hard solo, the sort of playing she's done less frequently on record.

Track Listing: Elaboration.

Personnel: Tim Berne: alto saxophone; Sylvie Courvoisier: piano, prepared piano; Mark Dresser: double-bass; Tom Rainey: drums; Herb Robertson: trumpet, cornet.

Title: Elaboration | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Ancón

Slam Records
2012

buy
 

Party Enders

Concord Jazz
2012

buy
Superdesert

Superdesert

Not Two Records
2010

buy
[NOD]

[NOD]

ILK Music
2009

buy
Superdesert

Superdesert

Not Two Records
2009

buy
Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone

Each Part a Whole:...

Ruby Flower Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Higher Album Reviews
Higher
By Tyran Grillo
May 26, 2019
Read The Unlonely Raindancer Album Reviews
The Unlonely Raindancer
By Matt Parker
May 26, 2019
Read Pyramid Scheme Album Reviews
Pyramid Scheme
By Mark Sullivan
May 26, 2019
Read Mosaismic Album Reviews
Mosaismic
By Mike Jurkovic
May 26, 2019
Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019