Saxophonist Pete Robbins Interviewed at All About Jazz
Pete Robbins is all about balance, in temperament and as an artist. He produces a polished sound on his alto saxophone, with a light tone betraying corners of darkness and complexity. Already an accomplished leader at 31, he grafts his sound onto ensembles of varying sizes with aplomb and equanimity. His style as a leader is distinctive. Just as distinctive are the contributions of his disciplined band members, heeding Robbins' swift directives but always sustaining a fine weave of individual voices.
Robbins' works start out cool and cautious, dipping into danger as they go along, playing with fire here and there but always containing it, keeping it under control until the next revel or ritual is called for. Cycles build and dissipate, but the verve is patent and continuous.
AAJ Contributor Gordon Marshall spoke with Robbins about his latest disc, Silent Z Live (Hate Laugh, 2009), the contrapuntal impact of his classical piano schooling, and whether or not music can be inherently political.