386

Hank Roberts: Green

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Hank Roberts: Green 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 The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Nadje Noordhuis" CD/LP/Track Review Nadje Noordhuis
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Mujo" CD/LP/Track Review Mujo
by John Sharpe
Published: July 16, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.