Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

386

Hank Roberts: Green

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Hank Roberts' Green probably has nothing to do with going "green" (the trendy cultural buzzword for being ecologically aware). But it does offer music that has the environmental aura of expansive open plains, ruralesque backdrops, and majestic mountainscapes within a distinct, rustic and avant-garde music setting.

A world class cellist who could easily excel in any music genre, Roberts may be more recognizable in improvised music settings, and past performances with seminal artists—drummer Joey Baron, saxophonist Tim Berne and guitarist Bill Frisell, as well as his own releases Black Pastels (1987) and Birds of Prey (1990), both on JMT recordings (now Winter and Winter). Though some things have changed since his last recording, Roberts' progressive leaning bend toward the outside hasn't been altered as witnessed on this outstanding release.

From pastoral and somber moods to a 1960s LSD-laced trip on one track, the recording's a blend of both the familiar and strange. The bucolic and serene beginning of "Azul" gives way to growing tension then returning calm like witnessing the coming and passing of a storm. A fervent voice in "Prayer," the down-n-dirty funk of "In the 60's," and the eccentric "Cola People," are all pleasantly unpredictable, creating a listening environment that's memorable and mysterious.

Roberts is in total command of his cello, able to produce multiple voicings— plucking, strumming, tapping and beautiful bowing. He also provides earthy vocal on a couple of tunes; such as "Trees," a hard rocking piece, with some nasty guitar work by Ducret, where the stirring lyrics are suggestive of Native American Indian folklore, or a narrative on present day forestry issues.

Creativity is at the recording's center and reaches its apex on "Lenape Suite, The Departing Hunter's Song/War Dance Song/ Jersey Devil," a sonic voyage that includes an aboriginal-like motif and lyrics, electronics colorization and a frenzied (yet awe inspiring) trio performance that's unsettling yet hypnotic. In contrast, this is followed by "Long Walk," the recording's most picturesque track.

Green is uniquely captivating, haunting yet warmly assuasive and, true to Roberts' form, not easily categorized. A wondrous journey for those who appreciate music of, literally, a different shade of green.

Track Listing: Azul; Bernie Suite, Bernie Alap; Bernie Suite, Prayer; Bernie Suite, Bernie; In the 60's; Cola People; Trees; First; Lenape Suite, Lenape Alap; Lenape Suite, Nasfet; Lenape Suite, The Departing Hunter's Song/ War Dance Song /Jersey Devil; Long Walk; Gentle; Pictures.

Personnel: Hank Roberts: cello, vocals, guitar; Marc Ducret: electric and acoustic guitars; Jim Black: drums, electronics.

Title: Green | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Winter & Winter

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Blueberry Ash" CD/LP/Track Review Blueberry Ash
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "The Failure of Words" CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017