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Robert Aaron - Trouble Man



Robert Aaron Trouble Man
Robert Aaron - Trouble Man
(CD/Download) Heavenly Sweetness, 2010-04-15

Trouble Man is a journey in jazz as it was lived and defined in the Seventies; no borders, no conventions. Robert Aaron's music, with its range of saxophones and keyboards (piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer), has a unique style that is hard to find in this age of mathematical solos. It perpetuates the lyricism of Gato Barbieri (his parents are from Argentina) or Stanley Turrentine, with the intense breath of Pharoah Sanders. When you listen to this album, you experience the profound and now rare feeling of what drives the playing and writing of an exceptional musician. We call it 'soul', that paradoxical state when the profane and the sacred, joy and sorrow merge into one. We hear it less and less in increasingly rational musical recordings because it can only happen when there is a live connection between two hearts.

Robert Aaron Trouble Man
Robert Aaron - Trouble Man
(CD/Download) Heavenly Sweetness, 2010-04-15

Tracklisting :
01. Trouble Man 7:20
02. A Song For Monette 6:20
03. The Saddest Kiss 5:00
04. Flow Like A River 4:10
05. Sweat 11:23
06. Maimouna 7:33
07. Thembi 6:24
08. Bombo 5:09
09. Sweet Obsession 4:41
10. Doin' The Grind 10:37

Links :
myspace.com/robertaaron
myspace.com/heavenlyssweetness
heavenlysweetness.viabloga.com

Press Release :
At a time when most jazz musicians and composers graduate from music schools and academies to then follow a standard, exclusive stylistic career, it is fascinating to meet Robert Aaron, one of the last of these multi-instrumentalists to learn his trade at the 'American school', i.e. on the street and in bars.

Forced to fend for himself from the age of 14, Robert soon left his hometown of Montreal and arrived in New York in 1976 where he made a living by busking on the streets of Brooklyn. He quickly became a regular on the New York No Wave scene and was part of the original line-up of James Chance and the Contortions. He still performs with them today. He was spotted by David Bowie and recorded the 'Let's Dance' album with him. Not a bad start to his career.

Robert played his many instruments (all the saxophones and flutes, as well as piano, bass, guitar, etc.) amid the tumultuous atmosphere of 1980s' New York and recorded with rock bands such as the B52s and Blondie, funk and disco bands like Chic, and for the producer Patrick Adams.

He also played his part in the rise of hip-hop, working with Afrika Bambataa and Heavy D as well as Stetsasonic (on the classic track 'In Full Gear' and on a historic tour of Africa), Wu-Tang Clan and RZA.

Nor did he take his foot off the gas during the Nineties, when he was responsible for one of the first house music hits, 'Sax in the Ozone', for the label Eight Ball in 1992, as well as making his musical knowledge available to Masters at Work and various other electronic artists such as Daniel Wang and Fisherspooner. He became musical director of Wyclef in 1995 for the next ten years or so.

Robert never had any career plan, his only guide being his thirst for music and the twin principles of pleasure and joy, and few people know his name and his place in the history of music. He has always preferred life in the wings and other shady areas to the 'bling bling' of the star system.

I fell in love with his music the very first time we met at Professeur Inlassable's Paris studio after the poet Gentleman Jake had put us in touch. His love of Caribbean music (he was one of the mainstays of the label Mini and has recorded dozens of albums of Haitian compas with Skah Skah and Djet X among others) and his intimate knowledge of Seventies cosmic jazz and its main acts (he also played in Lester Bowie's big band) were two good reasons for coming up with an album in the finest tradition of Heavenly Sweetness.

We didn't set any stylistic constraints, just respect for the moment and the spiritual quality of the music, quick takes, and a requirement that the tracks be emotionally honest.

We shut ourselves away for two days in the studio in Meudon with Robert's Parisian friends: the organist and godfather of Malian music Cheick Tidiane Seck and Archie Shepp's drummer Steve McCraven, the bassist Marc Bertaux and the exceptional percussion players Roger Raspail from 'gwadloup' and the Cuban master of the congos, Emilio del Monte.

Two of the label's loyal friends - the poet Anthony Joseph and the guitarist Monnette Sudler – dropped by to share some musical moments, as did the wandering saxophonist Suleyman Hakim.

The result, 'Trouble Man', is a journey in jazz as it was lived and defined in the Seventies; no borders, no conventions. Robert Aaron's music, with its range of saxophones and keyboards (piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer), has a unique style that is hard to find in this age of mathematical solos. It perpetuates the lyricism of Gato Barbieri (his parents are from Argentina) or Stanley Turrentine, with the intense breath of Pharoah Sanders.

When you listen to this album, you experience the profound and now rare feeling of what drives the playing and writing of an exceptional musician. We call it 'soul', that paradoxical state when the profane and the sacred, joy and sorrow merge into one. We hear it less and less in increasingly rational musical recordings because it can only happen when there is a live connection between two hearts.

French Press Release :
Dans un temps où les musiciens et compositeurs de jazz sortent le plus souvent de conservatoires et écoles et suivent une route stylistique normée et exclusive, il est fascinant de rencontrer Robert Aaron, l'un des derniers exemples de ces multi-instrumentistes formés à 'l'école américaine' de la rue et des bars...
Livré à lui-même dès l'âge de 14 ans, Robert quitte rapidement son Montréal natal et arrive à New York en 1976 où il vit de sa musique dans les rues de Brooklyn. Il intègre rapidement la scène No-Wave new yorkaise et fait partie de la formation originale et mythique des Contorsions de James Chance avec lequel il se produit encore aujourd'hui. Repéré par David Bowie, il enregistre avec lui l'album Let's Dance. Voilà pour un début de carrière... Poly-instrumentiste (tous les saxes et flûtes, mais aussi piano, basse, guitare ...) de ces bouillonantes 80s new yorkaises, Robert enregistre alors avec des rockeurs - B52's, Blondie - , des groupes funk et disco -Chic, le producteur Patrick Adams -....
Il participe au développement du Hip-hop , collaborant avec Afrika Bambataa, Heavy D mais aussi Stetsasonic (sur le classique 'In Full Gear' mais aussi une tournée africaine historique), le Wu Tang et RZA.
Les années 90, donc, ne le voient pas faiblir et il est responsable d'un des premiers tubes de la house music, 'sax in the Ozone 'pour le label Eight Ball en 1992, tout en apportant sa science musicale au Masters at Work et de nombreux autres artistes électroniques comme Daniel Wang ou Fisherspooner. Il devient en 1995 directeur musical de Wyclef pour une dizaine d'année...
Avide de Musique, guidé par les seuls principes de plaisir et de joie, Robert n'a jamais eu de plan de carrière et son nom et son apport à l'histoire de la musique restent encore méconnus. Il a toujours préféré la pénombre et les quartiers interlopes au 'bling bling' et au star system. Ma rencontre avec lui, dans le studio parisien du Professeur Inlassable grâce au poète Gentleman Jake, fut un coup de foudre musical immédiat. Son amour des musique caraïbes (il fut un pillier du label Mini et a enregistré des dizaines d'albums de compas haïtien avec Skah Shah, Djet X ...) et sa connaissance intime du jazz cosmique des années 70 et de ses acteurs (il joua aussi dans le big band de Lester Bowie) nous entraînèrent à penser cet album dans la plus pure tradition Heavenly Sweetness.
Pas de contrainte stylistique, mais un respect de l'instant et de la qualité spirituelle de la musique, des prises rapides et un souci de justesse émotionnelle. Entouré de ses amis parisiens l'organiste et 'godfather' de la musique malienne Cheick Tidiane Seck et le batteur d'Archie Shepp Steve Mc Craven, du bassite Marc Ber taux et des percussionistes extraordinaires, Roger Raspail de gwadloup et le maître conguero cubain Emilio Del Monte, nous nous enfermons deux jours au studio de Meudon.
Les fidèles du label, le poète Anthony Joseph et la guitariste Monnette Sudler, viennent faire un 'tour musical', tout comme le saxophoniste itinérant Suleyman Hakim. Le résultat 'Trouble Man' est un voyage à travers le jazz comme il était vécu et pensé dans les années 70, sans frontière et sans code. La musique de Robert Aaron, qui passe des saxes au claviers (piano, orgue hammond, wurlitzer), a une saveur singulière et presque oubliée dans une époque de solos mathématiques. Elle perpétue le lyrisme d'un Gato Barbieri (ces parents sont d'origine argentine) ou de Stanly Turrentine, mêlé au souffle intense de Pharoah Sanders..
On éprouve, à l'écoute de cet album, ce sentiment profond, et aujourd'hui rare, qui anime le jeu et les compositions de ce musicien hors norme, la Soul, cet état d'être paradoxal où se mêle profane et sacré, joie et peine et, qui, faute de transmission de cœur à cœur disparaît des enseignements musicaux. toujours plus rationnels.

ANTOINE RAJON
Djouls

Djouls

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