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ALBUM REVIEWS

100nka and Herb Robertson: Superdesert

Read "Superdesert" reviewed by Robert Iannapollo

Herb Robertson has to be one of the most intrepid trumpeters around. He seems to be most willing to put himself in anomalous situations: the two-trumpet group he shares with Dave Ballou (MacroQuarktet), work as a sideman in various groups, membership in ad hoc assemblies like a trio with Evan Parker and Agustí Fernández or guesting with Pierre Dørge's New Jungle Orchestra. On Superdesert, Robertson collaborates with the Polish trio 100nka. This reviewer was unfamiliar with 100nka ...

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Herb Robertson / Mark Solborg: [NOD]

Read "[NOD]" reviewed by Martin Longley

In 2008, Danish guitarist Mark Solborg invited New Jersey trumpeter Herb Robertson to join his quartet. Around the same time, they laid down the tracks for this duo set in Copenhagen. Although Robertson can boast much more of a substantial history within the global sweep of jazz improvisation, this meeting possesses a strong sense of egalitarianism, where Solborg's contribution stands on an equal level. It seems as though Robert Louis Stevenson's poem “The Land Of Nod" had a significant influence ...

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100nka and Herb Robertson: Superdesert

Read "Superdesert" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

How much shit can one take? Well that depends. If it is being served by the quirky Polish trio 100nka--featuring guitarist Tomek Leś, bassist Adam Stodolski and percussionist Przemek Borowiecki--there may not be quite enough. Their music is rather undefinable, jumping and sneaking as it does into odd nooks and crannies. Much of it comes from being inquisitive; some of it has to do with the men who influenced them, including John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Drew Gress, Ellery ...

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The MacroQuarktet: Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone

Read "Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Pushing the boundaries of spontaneous expression, one of trumpeter Herb Robertson's latest projects is the MacroQuarktet with fellow trumpeter Dave Ballou and the formidable rhythm tandem of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey. Eschewing a blitzkrieg approach, the three improvisations on Each Part a Whole exude deliberative patience with ideas tested and developed into longer narrative arcs. Both trumpeters make imaginative use of mutes, other valve instruments (flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, cornet) and found objects (electric megaphones, ...

PROFILES

Herb Robertson: Abandon in the Moment

Read "Herb Robertson: Abandon in the Moment" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Amid a whorl of scraped cello, tenor sax squawks, and bass clarinet blats, trumpeter Herb Robertson paused, his eyes closed in concentration. With NSA-like hearing ability, he pierced the action with a bracing note that crystallized the unfurling improvisation. The intent listening and bold responses displayed during saxophonist Lotte Anker's January show at The Stone typify Robertson's commitment to playing in the moment.

“Once I start improvising I just can't think about other things," Robertson says. ...

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The MacroQuarktet: Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone

Read "Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The MacroQuarktet features a crème de la crème of New York's progressive jazz and improvisational contingent, although the respective instrumentalists know no bounds due to variable stints with like-minded artists across the globe. Recorded live at the Manhattan venue The Stone, the quartet--or, wittily cited as the Quarktet--casts an impressionistic aura into the rather expansive connotations of jazz-centric improvisation on Each Part a Whole. The musicians subdivide the performance into three extended works, teeming with polytonal resonance amid a surprising ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Herb Robertson: Real Aberration & The Perfume Comes Before The Flower

Read "Herb Robertson: Real Aberration & The Perfume Comes Before The Flower" reviewed by Martin Longley

Herb Robertson NY Downtown Allstars Real Aberration Clean Feed 2007 Alípio C Neto Quartet The Perfume Comes Before the Flower Clean Feed 2007 Year

Trumpeter Herb Robertson's NY Downtown Allstars is a band of bandleaders: Tim Berne (alto saxophone), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Mark Dresser (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). ...

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Herb Robertson Trio + Marcin Ole? and Bartlomiej Brat Ole?: Live at Alchemia

Read "Live at Alchemia" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

When Herb Robertson went into the Alchemia Club in Krakow, Poland on March 13, 2006 with Frank Gratkowski and Julian Petit to record the show, he had just the right rhythm section in twins Marcin Oles and Bartlomiej Brat Oles. All five have marked their presence as innovators. They take an idea, fertilize and expound it, and shape it into an extraordinary body, pacing it at their own instinct. As they pause and push, using space and density to work ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Herb Robertson: Parallelisms; Celebrations; Live at Alchemia

Read "Herb Robertson: Parallelisms; Celebrations; Live at Alchemia" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Herb Robertson Parallelisms Ruby Flower Records 2007 Gratkowski / Robertson / Nabatov / Manderscheid Celebrations Leo Records 2007 Herb Robertson Trio Live at Alchemia Not Two Records 2007

Trumpeter Herb Robertson relentlessly pursues new avenues of self-expression and collective interplay, never content to ...

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Herb Robertson and the Space Cadets: Sketches From the Other Side, for A.I.

Read "Sketches From the Other Side, for A.I." reviewed by Rex  Butters

Trumpet tornado Herb Robertson, a longtime mainstay on the New York Downtown and European improv scenes, has joined with Dr. Ana Isabel Ordonez to launch Ruby Flower Records. The first bloom from this particular garden features Robertson in a trio with reed great Frank Gratkowski and French phenom Julien Petit, known for his featured soloist status with many prestigious European Orchestras, as well as being a favorite of Stockhausen himself. Recording as “Herb Robertson and the Space Cadets, they alert ...

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Herb Robertson NY Downtown Allstars: Elaboration

Read "Elaboration" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Music For Long Attention Spans" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...


Giant Steps EP 2

Episode 2 No Respect. Kim is confronted with discrimination in jazz education while working at the Jazz Elders Foundation. Bid Daddy reams Manny for booking two singers at the same time and Mickey gets no respect in the movie business. Cast Mickey Bass, Dr. Jeff Gardere, Gregory Charles Royal, Mark 'Icewater' Gross, Paul Tafoya as 'Manny', Kimberly Singh, Zari Veres Royal and Marist Veres Royal -with James Zollar -trumpet, Bobby Lavell,- tenor sax Anthony Wonsey- piano, Mark Johnson - drums and Billy Johnson - bass.