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Album Review

Alto saxophonist George Robert shines during this 1999 concert in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the exemplary rhythm section of Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, and Kenny Washington accompanying him. Six of the eight songs are originals by the leader, written especially for this quartet. "Blues for C.T." is dedicated to trumpeter and flügelhornist Clark Terry, who Robert added as a special guest on previous recordings (including the outstanding Live at Q4); this joyful blues will put a smile on any jazz fan's face. The pretty ballad "Mom's Song" honors Robert's mother, who had passed away in 1997. There are also enjoyable tributes by Robert to Cannonball Adderley ("Cannonization") and Dexter Gordon ("Dexter") that pay homage by capturing the spirit of each musician rather than mimicking their respective styles. Robert also honors Kenny Barron (who was very likely the most recorded jazz pianist of the 1990s, as one listen to this CD helps to explain why) with "My Man Kenny," the type of driving post-bop chart in which the pianist particularly excels. Their duo version of the great standard "You Don't Know What Love Is" provides a virtual master class to aspiring young jazz musicians about playing with open ears and getting the most out of a timeless melody. Warmly recommended, as are all of George Robert's CDs.

Biography

Born: 1960 in Geneva, Switzerland

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

One of the finest jazz musicians born in Switzerland, altoist George Robert has long considered his main influences to be Charlie Parker and Phil Woods. He started on piano when he was eight, and clarinet at ten, playing with a family band that included his four brothers. Robert switched permanently to alto as a teenager. In 1980, he moved to the United States to study at Berklee, settling in New York in 1985. Robert recorded his first album that year (for his GPR label), and in 1987, formed a quintet...
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Inspiration, George Robert
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