Trumpeter Herb Robertson has demonstrated his facility in (albeit unconventional) melodic settings. But he also has great potential for the "other" kind of improvised music. Ritual, a striking example of the latter, was performed on Leap Day, 2000. Recorded live to two-track in a darkened room lit only by candles (spooky!), he offers a tour of his truly vast sonic universe. With accompaniment by drummer Phil Haynes, Robertson explores some seriously extraterrestrial sounds. By means only imaginable to this listener, he stretches the trumpet to the full limits of its sonic potential.
Haynes is game for the occasional creative, punchy rhythmic interplaybut he plays much more the role of colorist than timekeeper. Thus their duets on Ritual consist entirely of free improvisation. Only toward the second half of the record does Robertson hint at any kind of linear play. The absence of conventional melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic forms creates an intriguing alternative to Robertson's more structured work as a sideman. With their generous use of space, both these musicians make each note a deliberate act; and the dynamic range on this disc is dangerously huge.
These two musicians treat structure as something to create in the moment and then wantonly destroy on a path elsewhere. As you might imagine, they occupy perilous ground.
Track Listing: Ritual Parts 1; 2; 3; 4.
Personnel: Herb Robertson: trumpet; Phil Haynes: drums, percussion.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.