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All too often, artists who run around telling you they are "beyond category" or hard to categorize are, in fact, very easy to categorize; it's a matter of the artists having delusions of grandeur and not being nearly as unique, creative, or experimental as they like to think they are. But there are some artists who really are difficult to categorize, and Hank Roberts is one of them. The New York City-based cellist/guitarist (originally from Indiana) has been influenced by a variety of musical styles, and Green doesn't confine itself to one particular category exclusively. But if Green has a dominant ingredient, it is avant-garde jazz; essentially, Roberts is an avant-garde jazz musician, although Euro-classical, folk, blues, soul, and world music are also important parts of the picture on this 2007 recording (which finds him forming a trio with electric and acoustic guitarist Marc Ducret and drummer Jim Black). Roberts, who turned 53 in 2008, doesn't come across as someone who listens to one type of music exclusively, but he does come across as someone who really appreciates the more reflective side of avant-garde jazz — and that is exactly the type of avant-garde jazz that is heard on Green. This isn't angry, dense, harsh, abrasive, or claustrophobic music; Roberts values space, and the listener is given a lot of breathing room. When Roberts provides the occasional vocal and goes into "singing instrumentalist" mode, his appreciation of blues and folk becomes especially apparent. But even at his most rootsy, Roberts maintains his eccentricity and his left-of-center perspective, which is a perspective that yields generally noteworthy results on Green.
Beautiful, Rich & Profound
An unreal treat of an album... 3 great musicians coming together and creating a gorgeous & compelling feast of music.
Buy it, Now--Thank Me, Later.
Born: March 24, 1954 in Terre Haute, IN
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s
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