Jazz singer Mark Robinson draws his major inspiration from the Great American Songbook, and lovers of jazz and cabaret singing are drawing inspiration from Robinson's recently released CD, Some Small Dive.
As Dan McClenaghan from All About Jazz put it, Like the very best in this game -- Sinatra or Tony Bennett -- Robinson makes it all sound so effortless on this truly superb vocal jazz outing.
Given such praise, Robinson's appeal to live audiences isn't hard to understand. His style is elegant and refined, but always swinging. And as he works his way through the jazz standards of composers like Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart, and new classics from writers like Elvis Costello and Dave Frishberg, Robinson's delivery is both emotionally direct and musically sophisticated. He's cool, all right, but his music, at the same time, is fun and alive.
Robinson is dedicated now to the wonders of jazz, but he began his career at 16 as a classical singer, studying voice and music theory with a San Francisco Opera baritone. He went on to perform in London, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston. I always figured that in my next life, Iâ€™d be a crooner, he says. I'm glad I didn't have to wait that long.
With a Bay Area performance schedule that has been steadily expanding over the last 18 months, Robinson's cadre of fans has been growing, as well. Local musicians have also taken notice, and Robinson's recent collaborators have included some of the best artists on the scene.