By Bill Milkowski | Published May 2019
As longstanding multi-reed specialist in the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Scott Robinson has been showcased on numerous instruments over the years, including such oddball axes as ophicleide and theremin. On Tenormore, his 20th outing as a leader, Robinson exclusively performs on the silver 1924 Conn tenor saxophone he’s had since 1975. In the company of pianist Helen Sung and the veteran rhythm tandem of bassist Martin Wind and drummer Dennis Mackrel, he swings effortlessly and delivers a singing quality on several originals, while also incorporating some unconventional twists on three standards and one familiar pop tune. Robinson kicks it all off in daring fashion with an unaccompanied reading of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her,” which he opens in the altissimo range of his horn, before detouring into the Dolphy zone on one “out” interlude during his unhurried reading of the ballad. “Tenor Eleven,” a boppish 11-bar swinger, gives Sung plenty of room to stretch harmonically on her propulsive solo and also features a kinetic breakdown between tenor and drums. “Tenor Twelve” is an angular tune that again turns Sung loose on her solo and features more fiery group interplay. A winning set by a copacetic crew.
Tenormore: And I Love Her; Tenor Eleven; Put On A Happy Face; Morning Star; The Good Life; Tenor Twelve; Rainy River; The Weaver; The Nearness Of You; Tenormore. (67:19).
Personnel: Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; Helen Sung, piano, Hammond B-3 organ (7, 9); Martin Wind, bass, acoustic bass guitar (9, 10); Dennis Mackrel,drums; Sharon Robinson, flute (8).