All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Herb Robertson

Herb Robertson Herb Robertson

Herb Robertson is an avant-garde jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and music producer. He combines a thorough command of traditional and extended techniques with a prodigious imagination.

Born in New Jersey, he began to play trumpet in school during the fifth grade. He was introduced to jazz two years later by his junior high music teacher including Miles Davis. Robertson began collecting jazz records, listening to all styles from Louis Armstrong to the avant-garde and especially the era’s hard bop. In high school he led a quintet that played dances. During 1969-73 he attended the Berklee School Of Music as an instrumental performance major, a period in which his improvisational skills became highly developed. In 1973 he left Berklee, playing on the road in Canada as a lead trumpeter with jazz-rock cover bands.

In 1975 Herb Robertson had to quit playing music for a short time when the strain of performing nightly in a loud jazz-rock band caused him to temporarily lose his trumpet chops. Robertson altered his style, becoming a more lyrical and explorative player. In 1976 he started a rehearsal big band, also playing with some of the local avant-garde musicians in New Jersey. He met altoist Tim Berne in the late 1970s and first gained attention for his playing with Berne’s groups during 1981-87. His tonal distortions and use of mutes looked back to jazz’s past while his freer improvising was quite futuristic, fitting in very well with Berne’s passionate alto playing

Read more

Tags

“Robertson’s music is simultaneously a game of equals and a parody of excesses, with an irreverent use of structured freedom. It is also an obtuse refraction of Ellingtonian hues and blues that’s both dramatic and compelling” Wire Magazine

Primary Instrument

Trumpet

Photos

Albums

Album The Complete Night: Live At The Stone NYC

The Complete Night:...

Out Of Your Head Records
2020

buy
Album Plain by Simon Nabatov

Plain

Clean Feed Records
2020

buy
 

Ancón

Slam Records
2012

buy
 

Party Enders

Concord Jazz
2012

buy
Album Superdesert by Herb Robertson

Superdesert

Not Two Records
2010

buy
Album Each Part a Whole: Live at the Stone by Herb Robertson

Each Part a Whole:...

Ruby Flower Records
2009

buy

Watch

Similar

Enrico Rava Enrico Rava
trumpet
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
saxophone, soprano
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
David S. Ware David S. Ware
saxophone, tenor
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
band/orchestra
Lester Bowie Lester Bowie
trumpet
Roscoe Mitchell Roscoe Mitchell
woodwinds
John Tchicai John Tchicai
saxophone
Ellery Eskelin Ellery Eskelin
saxophone
Marty Ehrlich Marty Ehrlich
woodwinds
Ned Rothenberg Ned Rothenberg
saxophone
Paul Dunmall Paul Dunmall
saxophone

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.