Before settling in Annapolis, Md., Rob Levit spent time in New York playing with top-shelfers like Chris Cheek and Stephan Crump. He is a modern, versatile plectrist who reminds me of Pete McCann, and his trio disc Uncertain Path (Symbol System), with bassist Amy Shook and drummer Frank Russo, is a solid summary of his talents as an improviser and composer.
“As an instrumentalist I didn't always appreciate the level of hard work and sophistication that went into creating electronic music. I was one of those idiots knocking it without ever trying it. It’s been eye-opening to learn how to manipulate the myriad of possibilities into some intelligent or at least listenable form. It’s also helped generate new ideas for my jazz improvisations.
“Levit’s s band furrows into fresh soil, implanting their own unique playing styles and compositional/arrangement savvy -- not usually heard among American Jazz trios of similar ilk.”
“Rob isn’t a cocky guy, just a confident one who genuinely believes in the familiar childhood adage you can do anything you put your mind to. Creativity flows freely from this Maryland Hall artist in residence, whose results are as impressive as they are numerous.”
“Rob Levit is and has been one of the pioneering musicians in free-jazz, but he's also one of those rare cats that are open and welcoming towards experimentation. Those who knew him for his jazz music might very well be shocked if they were to listen to these electronic soundscapes. You get it all here: ambient soundscapes, idm beats, d'n'b breakbeats, glitch-electronica, classical music, free-jazz, progressive, avant-garde, experimental, trance and dark. As you might comprehend it is really hard to describe 22 songs and 2 CDs for a total of almost 2 and a half hours, especially when these songs are so drastically various and dramatically evolving.”
Uncertain Path is a program of mostly originals from the prolific guitarist and composer Rob Levit. His compositions range from the technically complex to the simply beautiful, from odd meter jazz to blistering backbeat rock feels, and seemingly all points in between. His interpretations of the music of others (Bob Marley, Sting, Wayne Shorter) are by turns poignant and incendiary. The trio, one of many Levit projects, works as a compatible unit, subtle, supportive, and well rehearsed.
Diverse forms of artistic expression and originality, the mark of a true multi-dimensional artist, have always distinguished the work of Levit.
“Levit's a fabulous guitarist and it is his guitar that sparkles at the center of things.”
Sea Of Tranquility
“The diversity of the tracks , the strength of the compositions, as well as the solid musicianship demonstrated by all 3 members make this an enjoyable disc. Fans of semi-acoustic jazz guitar will want to add another name to their list. The Rob Levit Trio has fused together diverging musical ideas into a cohesive musical entity.”
All About Jazz
“Many musicians who explore a wide variety of musical styles are unable to combine them into a coherent whole. Not Rob Levit though, a guitarist who is able to seamlessly blend all sorts of influences from blues to funk to heavy metal into a coherent whole. Thus Uncertain Path is an ironic title for an album that is so focused.”
“Traditional jazz and composition is usually Rob Levit’s bag but this ambitious and exuberant adventure into the world of ambient soundscapes is a journey that requires a passport into the depths of unexplored emotion. Both visionary and luminous, Levit paints lavish sonic artwork, traversing along the lines of IDM and ambient pieces while never straying so far as to be called glitch.”
All About Jazz
“In addition to Levit, the other two members of the trio�Amy Shook on bass and Frank Russo on drums and percussion�are very tasteful and musical players who work seemingly effortlessly together, complimenting each other's sounds in a delightful dance of music making.”
All About Jazz
“If guitar was a musical style, Rob Levit would be at the top of it. On the one hand, he is a jazz guitarist who can take a basic melody and turn it outside in to explore its inner beauty or reveal its seamy underbelly.”
One Final Note
“It is Levit’s constant reinvention, his drive to try something new at every turn that makes the music on both of these discs continually fascinating and rewarding.”