I make music in a variety of contexts. In addition to those listed below, I also frequently collaborate with improvisers in ad-hoc groupings.
Current performance projects:
jason robinson's janus ensemble
jason robinson / anthony davis duo
ballou / robinson / ilgenfritz / schuller
photo by Scott Friedlander (c) 2012
Jason Robinson's Janus Ensemble includes two primary configurations:
Jason Robinson - tenor and soprano saxes, alto flute
Marty Ehrlich - alto sax, bass clarinet
Liberty Ellman - guitar
Drew Gress - bass
George Schuller - drums
The full 9-piece Tiresian Symmetry version of the group--the quintet plus:
JD Parran - alto and contra bass clarinets, tenor sax
Bill Lowe - tuba, bass trombone
Marcus Rojas - tuba
Ches Smith - drums, glockenspiel
The group derives its name from Robinson's acclaimed album The Two Faces of Janus (Cuneiform, 2010). Inspired by the music of Henry Threadgill, the full 9-piece version of the group includes a two-tuba, two-drums setup and is featured on Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012).
With a name borrowed from Greek mythology, the project features a stellar cast of Robinson's most recent New York-based collaborators, all of who are distinguished figures in jazz and improvised music. The music is angular, expressive, emotional and virtuosic, and seamlessly moves from hard hitting grooves to beautiful abstract sound worlds. Robinson's playing and composing embodies the duality of the Janus metaphor—his music draws from the rich historical traditions of jazz and improvised music to forge a decidedly modern and unique musical vision.
REVIEWS: of The Two Faces of Janus (Cuneiform, 2010):
"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."
-Shaun Brady, DownBeat Magazine, FOUR STARS
"modern, oracular, and communal"
-Carlo Wolff, JazzTimes Magazine
Andrew Gilbert, Boston Globe
"Robinson offers the antithesis to jazz highways frequently traversed."
-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
"a recording of staggering diversity"
-James Hall, about.com
DOWNLOAD: promotional one-sheet
Jason Robinson - tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, alto flute
Anthony Davis - piano
Moody, stark, and emotionally charged – Captured on their critically acclaimed debut recording Cerulean Landscape (Cleen Feed, 2010), Robinson and pianist Anthony Davis have collaborated for more than ten years as a duo. Telepathic interplay, inspired improvisation, and dynamic original compositions carry listeners to a brilliant and evocative soundscape marked by emotional subtlety, a vast array of sounds, and poignant melodicism. With Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and the post- 60s jazz avant-garde as central reference points, Robinson and Davis bring together their formidable experience in many different music worlds, spilling over the traditional boundaries of the horn/piano duo. One moment minimalist, another orchestral, another beautifully melodic – their duo invites us into a sound world of deep blues, a place of surreal horizons, intense emotions, and hypnotic melodies.
REVIEWS: of Cerulean Landscape (Clean Feed, 2010):
"[M]ood and interplay are more important than volume or scale."
-Ron Wynn, JazzTimes Magazine
"[A] consummate summation of the jazz tradition in its most conversational and fundamental form."
-Troy Collins, All About Jazz
"almost Ellingtonian in their lapidary elegance and beauty, highlighting the richness of Davis' chordal voicings and Robinson's big, brawny, Ben Webster-ish tone on tenor."
-The Stash Dauber
"[I]nspired by their mutual passion for the music of Duke Ellington and spohisticated blues forms in a variety of hues, [their duet] is by turns lyrical and edgy, inviting and challenging. It's steeped in jazz traditions that are handily extended, which is Robinson's raison d'etre for making music."
-George Varge, San Diego Union-Tribune
DOWNLOAD: promotional one-sheet
Charlie Kohlhase - alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
Jason Robinson - tenor and soprano saxophones, alto and c flutes
Josh Rosen - piano
Bruno Raberg - bass
Curt Newton - drums
A collective ensemble, The Outnumbered began in 2008 when California saxophonist and composer Jason Robinson partnered with Boston-based creative music stalwarts Charlie Kohlhase, Josh Rosen, and Curt Newton. Shortly after, the remarkable bassist Bruno Raberg joined the group. Focused on developing and performing original music, the Outnumbered seamlessly moves between beautiful melodies, dissonant abstraction, heavy grooves, and freer rhythmic soundscapes. Their music is robust, beautiful, and focused.
"a rambunctious combo featuring a stellar cast of Boston improvisers"
-Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe
Dave Ballou - trumpet
Jason Robinson - tenor and soprano saxophones
James Ilgenfritx - bass
George Schuller - drums
Information coming soon...
Jason Robinson - saxophone, flute, electronics
For several years Robinson been developing various approaches to using electronics to manipulate the sound of hissaxophone and flute during live performance. He began by using various hardware ("stomp-boxes") designed for guitar, bass, and vocal signal processing; this was spawned in part having grown up listening to guitarists, like Hendrix, who developed huge sound vocabularies on their instruments (sometimes using these stompboxes). Robinson now primarily uses software-based signal processing and incorporates a variety of midi-controllers.
Most recently, this work has culminated in the release of Cerberus Reigning (Accretions Records, 2010), the electroacoustic second release in the Cerberus trilogy of solo recordings. Using software to process the acoustic sound of his tenor and soprano saxophones and alto flute, Robinson offers a richly evocative collection of pieces that tell a story about an other-worldly three-belled saxophone of sorts. Crafted around a "live" aesthetic--there are no edits or overdubs--Cerberus Reigning is the electronic-oriented follow-up to Cerberus Rising (Circumvention), the all-acoustic 2009 recording that began the "Cerberus" trilogy. In the liner notes to this new release, Robinson explains that he's "interested in rethinking certain stories in order to create new myth-science narratives." At times reminiscent of the electronic forays of Sun Ra or the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, the music of Cerberus Reigning is a feast for the imagination, a wild ride through a mythological landscape filled with exotic sounds and intense virtuosity. Cerberus Reigning promises to be an aural feast for adventurous listeners.
REVIEWS: of Cerberus Reigning (Accretions Records, 2010):
"A capaciously creative improviser."
-Andrew Gilbert, Los Angeles Times
"[E]loquent testimony to both his eclecticism and his inside/outside approach."
-Bill Tilland, Signal to Noise Magazine
"Robinson's saxophones and flute [are] augmented through computer software and electronics to create some of the most unusual and arresting tracks in recent memory."
-Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz
DOWNLOAD: promotional one-sheet (...coming soon...)
appearances as a sideperson with:
And many others...