136

Pete Robbins Transatlantic Quartet: Live In Basel

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Pete Robbins Transatlantic Quartet: Live In Basel Like most modern jazz players, alto saxophonist Pete Robbins works in multiple bands, playing varying styles and disciplines of this thing called jazz. Sounds reasonable, yes? But, thirty years ago this wasn't possible. Musicians, listeners, and jazz critics (let's not leave them out) had to take sides, choose categories and labels to classify and compartmentalize their music. You were either a traditionalist, a fusion advocate, or an avant-garde specialist. Neither the twain shall meet. Sound like politics in America today?

Thankfully, we have shed those differentiations, and Robbins can dabble successfully in multiple jazz genres. His Transatlantic Quartet is a harmonic and rhythms-centric crowd- pleasing performance band. After his first three studio recordings, he released the totally free-improvised Live In Brooklyn (Not Two, 2011) with his Unnamed Quartet, and the rocking and raucous siLENT Z Live (Hate Laugh Music, 2010).

Continuing with the live (read: "alive") nature of his music, Live In Basel invokes the new Brooklyn sound but with an international cast including Irish bassist Simon Jermyn, Canadian drummer Kevin Brow (who lives in Copenhagen), and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug.

This band revives the idea that jazz is folk music, just as hip-hop and rock are now part of popular folklore. Without dipping their toes into jazz/rock fusion, the quartet fires an electric vibe, Jermyn employing a six-string electric bass (and some deft effects) and Brow fusing his jazz drumming with hints of hip-hop and club beats. Robbins is satisfied to deal with concise melodies and harmonies here. "Eliotsong" is a slick break-beat shimmy of groove acceleration, "Inkhead" meshes disparate parts into another satisfying groove, and "Hoi Polloi" rewinds the Brooklyn sound back to early Steve Coleman days. Robbins and Ploug skate the urban lines between jazz and funk, without giving into either. They also navigate a simple, yet beautiful ballad, "The Quiet Space Left Behind" and the psalm-like "Hope Tober" with its bold melody, played without comprise .

Live In Basel is rich, passionate, abraded jazz that wears very well.


Track Listing: Eliotsong; There There; Inkhead; The Quiet Space Left Behind; Hoi Polloi; Introductions; Hope Tober.

Personnel: Pete Robbins: alto saxophone; Mikkel Ploug: guitar; Simon Jermyn: electric bass; Kevin Brow: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Hate Laugh Music | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Still Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Still Happy
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>" CD/LP/Track Review Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>
by John Eyles
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Motion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Istanbul Underground" CD/LP/Track Review Istanbul Underground
by James Nadal
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!