Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

141

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

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
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 the listener that fun shouldn't have to yield to freedom.

Sketches From the Other Side, For A.I. draws on the trio's vast musical background to weave recognizable thematic threads through surprising performances. The longest of the ten tracks clocks in at under eight minutes, so these brief statements are indeed sketches, each made more potent by the brevity. The title track allows the members of the trio to gracefully circle and communicate through dialogue. With Gratkowski on bass clarinet and Petit on tenor, "A.I.'s Theme opens with a smoky elegant intro that flies apart only to coalesce at the end.

Gratkowski plays the bass clarinet bass line on "Blues for Ana Isabel, while Robertson uses an expressive mute and Petit phrases the tenor for jazz. The reeds breathe whispers behind Robertson's flexible tones on "Spectrum of Petals. Gratkowski rolls low fat bass clarinet notes when the cornet drops back with the sax. They invest the minimal closing arrangement with delicacy.

Geometric Entities brings more sharp corners into the playing; Petit's multiphonics launch Gratkowski's clarinet. With the tenor and contrabass clarinet rumbling low, Robertson plunger-mutes his way through "Strolling Through Deepness. "Coming to Terms features breathy extended techniques, while "Closing In expands those ideas to include a R&B-inspired baritone from Petit. That baritone line leads into "Construction Machinery, where Gratkowski joins on alto to create a backup for Robertson's imaginative rap. Jumping in on trumpet, Robertson keeps the riff going, then Gratkowski goes stratospheric.

The excellent audio separation gives each voice a clear presence. This is an auspicious debut for a label with its ears clearly in the right place.


Track Listing: Sketches From the Other Side for A.I.; A.I.'s Theme; Blues for Ana Isabel; Spectrum of Petals; Geometric Entities; Strolling Through Deepness; Coming to Terms; Closing In; Road Construction Machinery; Solid State Lifeforms

Personnel: Herb Robertson: trumpet, cornet, lead vocals; Frank Gratkowski: alto sax, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, clarinet, vocals; Julien Petit: tenor and baritone saxes, vocals.

Title: Sketches From the Other Side, for A.I. | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ruby Flower Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Drifting Home" CD/LP/Track Review Drifting Home
by Jim Worsley
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Live At Jazzhus Montmartre" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazzhus Montmartre
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "The Way of It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Gallarais" CD/LP/Track Review Gallarais
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 15, 2017

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!