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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Arbors Jazz

SCOTT ROBINSON

Forever Lasting

Arbors Jazz ARCD 19276

 

 




 
1. Quietude
2. To You
3. Interloper
4. Don't Ever Leave Me
5. Three and One
6. Yours and Mine
7. Fingers
8. All My Yesterdays
9. TNA Blues
10. A Child is Born
11. Walkin' About
12. Kids are Pretty People
13. The Summary
14. Greetings and Salutations
 
 
 
Scott Robinson - Tenor sax, bass sax, echo cornet, C-melody sax, F-mezzo-soprano sax, C-flute, Eb soprano flute, thundersheet, contrabass sarrusophone, theremin, alto clarinet, bell, flugelhorn, French horn 

Mike Le Donne - Hammond B-3 Organ (tracks 2, 5, 9, 13, 14)
Richard Wyands - Piano (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10=12, 14)
Hank Jones - Piano (track 8)
Pat O'Leary - Bass (tracks 1, 3-7, 10-12, 14)
Dennis Mackrel - Drums (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10-12, 14)
Klaus Suonsaari - Drums (tracks 2, 5, 9)

The term "multi-instrumentalist" seems barely adequate when you are discussing Scott Robinson. Many multi-instrumentalists are saxophonists who play several varieties of reed instrument, but Scott surpasses them all in the number and variety of instruments he tackles (see the listings above). One can applaud Scott for being an individualist in a world of conformity - as well as for his abilities on such a wide range of musical instruments. This versatility is on full display in this album, which is devoted entirely to compositions by Thad Jones.

Mind you, the instruments themselves can have limitations which affect the quality of Robinson's performance. For instance, Scott makes the normally cumbersome bass saxophone sound supple in Don't Ever Leave Me and even better in TNA Blues. Yet the bass sax hardly suits a delicate tune like To You, one of my favourite Thad Jones compositions - especially as played on the album (First Time) which featured the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras playing together for a once-in-a-lifetime session. There, the arrangement was superlatively warm and rich; here the performance sounds laboured. A Child is Born is the other tune on the CD which will be widely known, but Scott's use of the theremin makes it sound eerie rather than contemplative. Things improve when he switches to the alto clarinet halfway through the piece but this child doesn't have an easy birth, with the theremin returning towards the end, reminding one of a persistent bee or an irritating hum.

Scott even uses double-tracking so that he can duet with himself, as in Don't Ever Leave me, where he simultaneously plays flute and C-melody sax. His duet between French horn and flugelhorn for The Summary is a triumph. However, the combination of flute and contrabass sarrusophone in Fingers is skilful but not very melodious. In fact some of the most successful tracks are those where Scott simply plays one instrument - for example, the opening Quietude, with just the eloquent flute, or Scott's straightforward swing on tenor sax in Interloper. Variety is ensured not only by the array of instruments but also by the difference between the two keyboard players. Richard Wyands supplies very sensitive piano, while Mike Le Donne's Hammond organ tends to make his five tracks more funky than the others.

Despite the occasional misfires, Scott treats the listener to some intriguing sounds and he impresses with his breadth and adventurousness. He is unique - and his playing will often make you smile with delight or surprise.

Tony Augarde



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