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Jason Roebke Octet: High/Red/Center

Discussing his octet’s blend of textures and soloists in this album’s liner notes, bassist Jason Roebke states, “It’s a struggle, but that’s sort of the point. It’s all about risk and the tension that working on something just beyond our reach creates.” This convergence of possibilities can be heard from the opening bars of High/Red/Center, and it gives the album a drive that doesn’t let up until the end. With five horns on the frontline and a rhythm section of vibes, bass and drums alternately goading them and swinging intensely, Roebke proves to be a forthright leader in addition to the go-to bassist on the Chicago scene.

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