Amid a whorl of scraped cello, tenor sax squawks, and bass clarinet blats, trumpeter Herb Robertson paused, his eyes closed in concentration. With NSA-like hearing ability, he pierced the action with a bracing note that crystallized the unfurling improvisation. The intent listening and bold responses displayed during saxophonist Lotte Anker
's January show at The Stone typify Robertson's commitment to playing in the moment.
Once I start improvising I just can't think about other things," Robertson says. Improvisation, to me, that's what exists: when I'm improvising, it's music." Forging a distinct sound, he combines the chops and projection of a big band lead trumpet with the imagination and fearlessness of an improviser, extending his textural range with ambitious use of multiple mutes, vocalizations, megaphones, and whistles.
AAJ contributor Sean Patrick Fitzell spoke with Robertson, and provides an overview of the trumpeter's career, as well as an update on what he's been up to lately, in his engaging interview.
Check out Herb Robertson: Abandon in the Moment at AAJ today!