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Scott Robinson: Plays C-Melody Saxophone: Melody from the Sky

Scott Robinson is a multiple reeds player whose musical collaborations range from Ruby Braff to Anthony Braxton. With this unusual album, he illustrates the versatility of the C-melody saxophone, an instrument that disappeared after brief glory in the 1920s when Frankie Trumbauer worked with trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke.

Robinson applies Trumbauer’s feathery sweetness to three of Bix’s hits: “Davenport Blues,” “Singin’ the Blues” and “For No Reason at All in C.” Adding heat to the sweet, Robinson burns through three originals: “C Here” suggests a John Coltrane/Elvin Jones coalition; “Ups and Downs” adds a trumpet groove; and “Yardville” goes bebop. The 16 tracks also include the contrast of Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” and the classical “Le Cygne (The Swan).”

Robinson’s arrangements utilize organ trios, piano duets, quartets and quintets. Pianist-organists Larry Ham and Mark Shane, guitarists Marty Grosz and James Chirillo, bassists Lee Hudson and Greg Cohen, trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, drummer Klaus Suonsaari and even a string quartet sustain Robinson’s ideas.

The cover art of Robinson playing his sax in a hot-air balloon conveys the interior message: It’s a great ride.

Originally Published