Andrew Robson Trio

Rating: ****

This third album from Sydney saxophonist Andrew Robson’s trio formed in 1996 with bassist Steve Elphick and drummer Hamish Stuart, charts the continuing development of an esteemed group.

There are more diverse influences evident here: Mata Hari is based on an Eastern European dance rhythm, while the Asian influenced Brindabella has Robson on an evocative descant recorder, and Big Ben – a tribute to US tenor saxophonist, Bennie Wallace – is an intricately clever down-home blues. Playing mostly alto on these tracks, Robson takes up the soprano for Lace Work, a smart title for a tribute to the late US master sopranoist Steve Lacy. This piece with its catchy theme moves in and out of tempo, features a rhythmically driven bass solo backed by Stuart’s intelligent drumming, and displays Robson’s swinging ability and surety of command.

The leader, on the trio’s only melodic instrument, is exposed here, but with deeply creative support, delivers a strong performance, never losing focus.


This review first appeared in The Weekend Australian and is republished with permission.

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