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Herb Robertson NY Downtown Allstars: Real Aberration

Hard to figure out what to make of trumpeter Herb Robertson’s free-jazz quintet’s new set. Some parts exhilarate. Some parts plod. Some lift the soul. Some of it is based firmly in composition, and some of it is way off the charts.

Real Aberration puts a critic in a difficult spot. Praise it and you’re blindly accepting of whatever these self-indulgent free improvisers throw at you. Put it down and you just don’t get it. Take the middle of the road and you’re useless.

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