World renowned clarinetist, Perry Robinson, son of folk composer Earl Robinson, has made many records over the years. His debut, Funk Dumpling, has been recently reissued on Savoy records. Originally recorded in 1962, it features Kenny Barron, Paul Motian and Perry's legendary mentor, bassist and composer, Henry Grimes. Also recently reissued on CD is Perry's classic collaboration with Nana Vasconcelos and Badal Roy entitled Kundalini. Charlie Haden's debut recording of his Liberation Music Ensemble, originally released in 1973 for MCA/Impulse, also finds Perry in the mix. Most recently, Perry can be heard on CD's with his own quartet on West Wind Records (Nightmare Island and Call To The Stars) and with Burton Greene's Klezmokum, a Klezmer/jazz group based in Amsterdam.
On this new recording, the whole range of Perry Robinson's musical character is revealed on tape. From down-home country swing to dark, brooding, crying wails. From a folk number recalled from the hootenannies of his youth to a samba dedicated to the revolutionary artists of El Salvador. With startling variety and a truly distinct sound, Perry's clarinet soars over the musical family, Solar.
Solar has been performing throughout the New York metropolitan area for over six years. This is a band that doesn't just play notes but truly creates an "atmosphere" wherever they play. George Kanzler of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote of their live performance, "Solar is one of those rare ensembles that brings genuine fervor and kinetic energy - the kind usually associated with the best rock - to modern jazz." It could be a packed college venue or a collaborative work with dancers, actors or poets. Since 1991, Solar claimed as its home, Deanna's, the East Village hot spot that has showcased some of New York's newest and oldest talent. From bassist, Leonard Gaskin to pianist, Jackie Terrason, Solar enjoyed fine company.
Solar is Eli Yamin's piano and compositions. His composition, "The Sea," and its variations comprise Yamin's first film score for a film called Around The Time by Phil Bertelson. The film made its debut at the NYU Film Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City in March '96 and won first place in the festival and an honor for Best Original Score. At twenty seven, Eli is one of the youngest members of the Illinois Jacquet Big Band which recently toured Europe for concert performances and radio and television broadcasts. In 1993 he was musical director/conductor and pianist for a U.S. tour of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies directed by Mercedes Ellington. Also, recently Eli completed an extensive tour of North and South America with the Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Larry O' Brian. Yamin played with drummer Walter Perkins for several years including a tribute band to Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Eli was twice a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Writer Amiri Baraka said of Yamin's keyboard interpretations, "This man has met Thelonious Monk!"
Solar is Adam Bernstein's bass and compositions. At thirty, Adam is a prolific composer constantly producing new music for his ten piece rock, funk, world beat dance crazy orchestra, "All God's Children." The band has been up and down the eastern seaboard creating fierce energy and zany times including a 1995 New Year's Eve blowout at NYC's Wetlands. Bernstein has also composed for dance and jazz orchestra. He toured Japan with Hilario Soto's Higher Culture and is extremely active in the recording studio these days with his own projects and as producer of others.
Solar is Andy Demos on drums, vocals, and general vibes control. Andy, at thirty-three, is a powerhouse father of four and musical creative whirlwind. His creations took him to the stage of the Joyce Theatre in NYC this past spring to perform a world premiere dance work by Jennifer Muller. Andy opened the piece on solo clarinet and, before he was through, played percussion, oboe, bamboo flute, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone. The latter prompted David Murray in the audience one night to exclaim, "Who's that great tenor player?" Andy Demos is all music and always brings a festive fiery presence to every situation. He has recorded several albums and toured extensively with the original music band, Tiny Lights.
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