3

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

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Lucille" CD/LP/Track Review Lucille
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.