Emmy-nominated musical director and Florida staple Brandon Robertson has released a stellar debut album featuring all but two original songs written over the span of the past 14 years. He has referred to the record as “the first chapter of his musical biography,” wherein each song harks back to a significant moment in his lifetime. Featured is a band comprised of stars on the jazz circuit, including collaborators such as Lew Del Gatto on tenor saxophone, Zach Bartholomew on piano and Gerald Watkins Jr. on drums.
The record is sultry and luscious, especially when giving a close listen to Robertson’s bass riffs that are very literally on fire. Each song has its own distinct flavour, almost creating an image in the mind of what kind of memory the bassist was recalling in the midst of writing. An interesting feature of the album is that Robertson is clearly just as comfortable leading within a piece as he is accompanying his collaborators and allowing them to have a moment in the spotlight. East of the Sun and The Next Thing to Come are great opening tracks as they have an irresistible, foot-tapping rhythm. Robertson’s pizzicato technique can really be appreciated on Lullaby for Noelle, while bowing is also used earlier in the same piece. While each track has its own story, there is also a welcome togetherness throughout the record, which makes it a sound choice for any jazz listener.