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Herb Robertson

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Biography

Some of his contemporaries may have generated more hype, but there's no better free jazz trumpeter than Robertson. He combines a thorough command of traditional and extended techniques with a prodigious imagination. His voice is utterly original, maybe too original for his own good; many less ambitious trumpeters his age have made bigger names for themselves. Robertson follows his own path, however, creating challenging, uncompromising music that's more accessible than one might think. Robertson was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended Berklee School of Music from 1969-1972. He spent the next several years playing in various jazz and rock bands. By 1981, he'd joined saxophonist Tim Berne's band; not long after, he began playing with bassist Mark Helias. In 1985, Robertson recorded as a leader for the first time. Transparency featured Berne, guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Lindsey Horner, and drummer Joey Baron; it was the first of five excellent albums Robertson would make for producer Stefan Winter's JMT label. Robertson's also recorded for the Leo and Cadence Jazz labels, among others. As a sideman, he's played with Anthony Davis, Bobby Previte, David Sanborn, George Gruntz, Bill Frisell, and Paul Motian, to name just a few. Robertson has toured Europe many times, playing many of the major festivals. He's also composed music for dance and theater. Transparency was re-released in 2001 on the Winter & Winter label. ~ Chris Kelsey

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