Exposé Online banner

Jason Robinson — Tiresian Symmetry
(Cuneiform Rune 346, 2012, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-12

Tiresian Symmetry Cover artComposer and saxophonist Robinson (also a member of Cosmologic) leads this nine-piece jazz ensemble through some treacherous and expansive material, driven by a combination of tasty melodic articulation and free-ish improvisation that is at times soothing and sensitive, and at other times borders on the bristly edge of total chaos. These are a bunch of great players though, and when they get behind a great idea they can push it home with finesse. The band features Robinson on tenor and soprano saxes, and alto flute, plus additional players covering guitar, bass, drums (two drummers, in fact), tuba, bass trombone, alto, bass and contrabass clarinet, c flute, glockenspiel, and even more saxes (alto and tenor)… did I forget anything? There are a lot of cooks in this kitchen, and their collective stew ranges from elements pastoral and serene to intense, complex, abstract, and outright disquieting. One never knows where these eight pieces are going next, and that surprise element is what keeps it interesting, and sometimes impenetrable. I’ve been playing this disc off and on for over six months trying to get my ears wrapped around it and figure out how to put what they do into words, and every time I push the play button, it’s like I’ve never heard it before. Listeners who like that kind of challenge will find plenty of it within these grooves; on the other hand those who shy away from the rich cornucopia of free improv and the honk-n’-squonk of a three sax plus brass front line might be better off moving along to the next review.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Jason Robinson, Liberty Ellman

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Scenes - Call Us Now at the Number You Provide – Swedish prog metal protagonists Scenes are not a well known commodity on the international scene yet but they are making substantial inroads in that direction with this first label release. The...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues