Paris Transatlantic review by Jason Bivins

Jason Robinson / Anthony Davis – CERULEAN LANDSCAPE (CF 198 )
Californian reedist and composer Jason Robinson has been documenting consistently engaging new music on the Accretions label for some time now (most recently on his vivid solo disc Cerberus Reigning, where he supplements his customary axe with electronics). On his duo summit with Anthony Davis, he gets to showcase some of his liveliest and most lyrical playing. From the first notes of the opening “Shimmer” he sounds enthused by Davis’s boisterous, dancing rhythms and harmonic subtleties (it could almost be Muhal imitating Bill Evans), responding with ebullient, faintly quavering soprano lines. But the disc as a whole traverses many different territories. Notes billow and pop on the spacious, at times crystalline “Someday I’ll Know.” The exchanges are spiky, fractious, and pinwheeling on “Vicissitudes (for Mel),” after which they enter a kind of spiral world on “Translucence,” but one whose very abstraction is somehow defined by idiomatic playing: quasi-stride piano and lovely alto flute that wend their way at last to a haunting descending line. The punishing reading of “Of Blues and Dreams” and the muscular swing of “Andrew” are great palate cleansers for the superb, sumptuous course of “Cerulean Seas and Viridian Skies.” Its urgent alto opening ushers in far more heart-on-sleeve romance than I’d expected, a veritable rhapsody.

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