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Perry Robinson: The Traveler by Perry Robinson & Florence Wetzel

Even in a world where nonconformity is the norm, Perry Robinson is an eccentric. He seems to view life as a quest for the unusual, unexpected and especially, to use his favorite word, “out.” His choice of instrument may even reflect this love of the outré; when he got serious about the clarinet in the ’50s, Tony Scott and Buddy DeFranco were about the only people who believed in its possibilities for modern expression.

Robinson’s name is inextricably linked with the first wave of the free-jazz era, owing to his participation on a handful of seminal records: Henry Grimes’ The Call, Archie Shepp’s Mama Too Tight, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra and Carla Bley and Paul Haines’ Escalator Over the Hill notable among them. A host of later associations would include Gunter Hampel and Jeanne Lee, Roswell Rudd and the Brubeck clan.

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