Solo is Jason Roebke's only solo acoustic bass album, originally self-released in 2000. Across twelve pieces he bows, plucks and thrashes the bass to explore its wooden body, string harmonics and conjure pure clusters of sound. Snatches of walking, be-bop lines appear frequently and sometimes inside gestures of flinty, endless drones. Like massive bass statements of the past -- Peter Kowald's Was Da 1st or Motoharu Yoshizawa's Cracked Mirrors -- Solo is a wide-eyed and important snapshot of Roebke bursting clear out of an embryonic shell.
When I recorded these pieces, I had just moved to Chicago. I moved in July of '99. The work is also highly influenced by Roscoe Mitchell which whom I had 'studied with' from 1995-1997. I was at his house almost everyday during that time but it wasn't formal lessons. I just did various odd jobs for him and we played and talked about music sometimes. The newer piece, (#12 from 2007) is a more integrated in terms of having more material swirling around, creating richer textures, relationships, and form." -- Jason Roebke, July 2008
Since Solo was issued in a few dozen CDRs, Robeke has become one of the most sought after bassists in Chicago for playing that is intensely physical, audacious, and sparse. Roebke leads the electro-acoustic ensemble Tigersmilk (Rob Mazurek, Dylan van der Schyff) who have three full-length albums on Family Vineyard, and co-leads the modular music and dance unit Art Union Humanscape (Ayako Kato, Tim Barnes, Michiyo Yagi) alongside extensive forays into the jazz sphere in Jeb Bishop Trio, Mike Reed's People, Places and Things, and Jorrit Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective.