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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

U Totem - Strange Attractors – This, the long awaited follow-up to U Totem's eponymous debut, features the band's original lineup (Sanjay Kumar, Dave Kerman, Eric Johnson, Emily Hay, and James Grigsby) as well as numerous guests,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues