Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Donald Robinson Trio: Straight Lines Skewed

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Robinson and bassist Lisle Ellis’ ability to create a well-grounded propulsion from the barest textures, rhythms, and phrases is very much in evidence in their work with alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi on Straight Lines Skewed. Eneidi, who moved to the Left Coast in the mid-’90s after stints in the ensembles of Bill Dixon, Raphe Malik and others, proves to be a strong complement, as his raspy tone and exclamatory sense of line gives thematic weight to fragmentlike phrases. Most importantly, Eneidi is on the same page with Robinson and Ellis when it comes to imbuing their collective statements with a bluesy, gritty drive that relies neither on frenetic gestures or indulgent opacity. In this regard, Robinson’s prodding brushwork is instructive. Still, when the trio goes full throttle, their streamlined intensity recalls Jimmy Lyons’ recordings.