Herb Robertson

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In 2001, the Germany-based Winter & Winter label began reissuing the impressive JMT catalog in sequential fashion. One of the first of these reissues is trumpeter Herb Robertson's inaugural solo effort, recorded in 1985. The production is repackaged with Winter & Winter's customary textured cardboard jewel case and includes an insert depicting the original LP cover artwork. Here, Robertson's golden-toned horn is beautifully recorded and enhanced by the 24-bit digital remastering, although JMT was well-known for its superior audio quality anyway. And while this release might be considered relatively tame compared to the horn man's late-'90s and early-'00s free jazz-style extravaganzas, his torrid exchanges with saxophonist and subsequent employer Tim Berne provide more than enough fireworks. Guitarist Bill Frisell injects his angular phraseology and slithery lines into the grand scheme of things, as the band flirts with modern and free jazz while also engaging in a few peppery swing vamps. Simply put, this is a significant outing by a trumpeter who has influenced many yet has evaded widespread recognition over the years. Recommended.

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