Magic Triangle Jazz Series: Jason Robinson's Janus Ensemble
February 20, 2014
Fine Arts Center Bezanson Recital Hall
UMass Amherst Campus
We begin our silver anniversary season with a performance by saxophonist, composer and Amherst College Assistant Professor of Music Jason Robinson as he reassembles the nine-piece ensemble featured on his most recent celebrated recording, Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform). The group features Robinson, along with Oscar Noriega (reeds), Marty Ehrlich (reeds), Bill Lowe (tuba, bass trombone), Michael Dessen (trombone), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Drew Gress (bass), George Schuller (drums) and Ches Smith (drums). The concert will feature a series of compositions inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Tiresias, and the 1990s music of Henry Threadgill.
“Expansive arrangements are only one facet of Robinson’s talents,” writes Troy Collins. “A bold and confident interpreter, Robinson repeatedly structures his solo excursions using a variety of approaches, lending each statement its own unique narrative identity. Thrilling in its intensity, Robinson’s climactic performance is a remarkable demonstration of creativity, stamina and virtuosity, confirming Tiresian Symmetry as his most complete statement to date.”
The music of saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Fall 2010 marked a watershed in Robinson’s output as a leader. He released three concurrent albums showcasing an enormous breadth of creative work, including The Two Faces of Janus (Cuneiform), featuring Drew Gress, Liberty Ellman, George Schuller, Marty Ehrlich and Rudresh Mahanthappa; Cerulean Landscape (Clean Feed), duets with the acclaimed pianist and composer Anthony Davis; and Cerberus Reigning (Accretions), the second installment of the “Cerberus” trilogy, featuring Robinson’s solo electroacoustic music.
"Robinson's compositions manage to draw a straight line through bop, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy straight into the modern day with acute-angle swing, blues bluster and memorable themes that seem to scratch at the back of the mind with familiarity without resorting to quotation or imitation," writes Shaun Brady in DownBeat.
Robinson, who holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, San Diego, has performed and recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser and many others.
Bezanson Recital Hall is located within the Fine Arts Center. https://fac.umass.edu/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=...