|Jason Robinson "Tandem" Accretions (www.accretions.com) Jason Robinson is prolific almost to a fault. An alto and tenor saxophonist, flutist, bass clarinetist and live-electronics manipulator, the 26-year-old maverick is a founding member of San Diego's envelope-pushing Trummerflora collective, a Ph.D. candidate in music at UCSD (where he teaches a course on the history of Jamaican music) and the leader of his own jazz quartet. He is also a member of such stylistically disparate bands as Wise Monkey Orchestra, Cosmologic, Perfektomat, Spinside and Damned Dirty Apes. "Tandem" is the arresting sequel to his 1998 debut as a leader, the post-boppish "From the Sun." As collaborative as its title implies, "Tandem" features 13 duets and one trio piece, 10 of which are completely improvised. Robinson's partners here include such internationally esteemed musicians as trombone master George Lewis and pianist Anthony Davis, featured on the album's most ambitious piece, the partly composed, mostly spontaneous "C.T." (which lasts more than 19 minutes but never overstays its welcome). Also featured is trombonist Michael Dessen, contrabassist Peter Kowald, percussionist Nathan Hubbard, guitarist Marcelo Radulovich and electronic musicians Stephanie Johnson and Hans Fjellstad. Robinson shines whether performing furious, Coltrane-ish waves of sound ("In the Tradition"), a lovely tone poem with Dessen ("Birdrock Dub"), or mind-bending sonic forays ("A Song for Tomorrow" and "Same Old Station"). His influences - Wayne Shorter here, David Murray there, Peter Brotzman and James Newton in between - are as apparent as his potential to carve out his own niche. Provocative and rewarding, "Tandem" makes it clear that Robinson's artistic evolution should be most fruitful.
-George Varga -San Diego Union Tribune
-AMG (All Music Guide)