4

Jason Robinson: Tiresian Symmetry

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Immersed in the myths of ancient Greece, multi-reedman Jason Robinson underscores this major work based on the prophet Tiresias, who lived as both a man and woman. Nonetheless, Robinson has proven that change and risk-taking via the power of his pen and acute technical skills have become a de facto standard. From a jazz standpoint, he employs an impressive support structure to carry out his strategy. Robinson's nonet is postured to mimic the finesse of a big band or blow walls down with concentrated small group improvisational blowouts.

The leader's compositions convey a striking degree of contrasts. Whether its raucous tuba dialogues, sprinting rhythmic thrusts or carefully coordinated thematic developments, he uncannily merges catchy, tension-building themes with a no- nonsense mode of operations. Each instrumentalist is a vital cog in the wheel of success, especially since the program proceeds with the impetus of an action-packed cinematic thriller. Spanning multi-timbre hues, whirling flutes, a whack of a glockenspiel and punishing crescendos, Robinson engineers a vibrant montage of memorable works, partly seasoned with punishing horns choruses.

At times, the band zigzags through loose-groove dyads and a laidback gait, but kicks out the jams on the John Coltrane-esque "Radiate," where Robinson soars to the netherworld with spiritual assurance. Riding above a medium-tempo and pumping cadence, this piece features a dueling contest between tubaists Marcus Rojas and Bill Lowe (who also alternates on bass trombone) amid angst ridden horn escapades, frothy detours, and multilayered horns choruses. Guitarist Liberty Ellman's animated electric guitar soloing spearheads a cosmic reckoning, sparked with guileful electronics maneuvers.

A recurring implication may be that the seatbelt should be fastened before listening to this tune. Imagery of this nature may also apply to "Elbow Grease," as a seething Johnny-on-the-spot breakout is composed of asymmetrical parts bop, free jazz, and a compact bass and horns ostinato. Robinson is a modern-era apostle, summoning a new jazz order.

Track Listing: Stratum 3; Tiresian Symmetry; Radiate; Saros; Elbow Grease; Introduction; Elbow Grease; Corduroy; Cosmolographie.

Personnel: Jason Robinson: tenor sax, alto flute, soprano sax; JD Parran: alto clarinet, contra bass clarinet, tenor sax; Marty Ehrlich: alto sax, bass clarinet, flute; Marcas Rojas: tuba; Bill Lowe: tuba, bass trombone; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Drew Gress: bass; George Schuller: drums; Ches Smith: drums, glockenspiel.

Title: Tiresian Symmetry | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

The Two Faces of Janus

Cuneiform Records
2012

buy
 

Tiresian Simmetry

Cuneiform Records
2012

buy
Tiresian Symmetry

Tiresian Symmetry

Cuneiform Records
2012

buy
 

Cerulean Landscape

Clean Feed Records
2011

buy
The Two Faces of Janus

The Two Faces of Janus

Cuneiform Records
2011

buy
Cerberus Reigning

Cerberus Reigning

Accretions
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read New York Trio Album Reviews
New York Trio
By Troy Dostert
July 18, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Jerome Wilson
July 18, 2019
Read Syzygy Album Reviews
Syzygy
By Don Phipps
July 18, 2019
Read Visions Album Reviews
Visions
By Friedrich Kunzmann
July 18, 2019
Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019