Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
157

Herb Robertson and The Double Infinitives: Music For Long Attention Spans

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
No doubt Herb Robertson is one of the criminally under-recognized trumpeters in modern jazz and free improvisation as his highly praised work with alto saxophonist Tim Berne and recordings for the much beloved “JMT” jazz label will attest to his musical individuality. However, Robertson has since charted fertile terrain with some of Europe’s finest, although this new release was recorded in New Jersey, June 11, 2000.

Here, the trumpeter steers a group of like minded musicians for a series of lengthy and largely free improvisational pieces as the band opts for a semi-theatrical approach, teeming with humor and pathos. With “The Status Quo,” Robertson’s poetic recital provides a sense of parody amid trombonists’, Steve Swell and Bob Hovey’s cantankerous mid-register lines and Hans Tammen’s finicky “endangered guitar” underpinnings. Consequently, Robertson perpetuates a plethora of novel propositions via his gruff, raspy tone, fluent lines, and altogether muscular mode of attack.

Tammen continues with his manic guitar passages on the free flowing piece, “Time Out/Zipangu,” whereas, various members of the band utilize small percussion instruments in concurrence with Robertson’s melodica performances, whistles and the soloists’ fragmented micro-themes. Hence, there’s a whole lot going on here, including Chris Lough’s nimbly executed bass lines, drummer Tom Sayek’s oscillating rhythms, Robertson’s boisterously stated lyricism and the musicians’ generally festive undercurrents on pieces such as “Tickle Me Crazy” and “Beehive Secrets”. Overall, Music For Long Attention Spans effectively captures one’s imagination as this new effort might signify one of Herb Robertson’s most persuasive recorded documents to date. Highly recommended.

Leo Records


Track Listing: The Status Quo; Time Out/Zipangu; Future Perfect; Tickle Me Crazy; Beehive Secrets

Personnel: Herb Robertson; trumpet, soprano posthorn, saxpiece, bone-piece, whistles, voice, toys, bells, melodica and assorted mutes: Steve Swell; trombone, cymbalophone: Bob Hovey; trombone, percussion, background vocals: Hans Tammen; endangered guitar: Chris Lough; bass: Tom Sayek; drums, percussion, background vocals.

| Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
[no cover]
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
[no cover]
Passing The Torch
Concord Jazz
2008
buy
Enrico Rava Enrico Rava
trumpet
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
David S. Ware David S. Ware
sax, tenor
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
band/orchestra
Lester Bowie Lester Bowie
trumpet
John Tchicai John Tchicai
saxophone
Ellery Eskelin Ellery Eskelin
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.