141

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

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Herb Robertson and the Space Cadets: Sketches From the Other Side, for A.I. 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.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ruby Flower Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Soul’s Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review Soul’s Journey Home
by Jim Olin
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "Eros" CD/LP/Track Review Eros
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Journey To The Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "The Beast" CD/LP/Track Review The Beast
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!