The Jeff Robinson Trio is a very refreshing sound of ‘real’ acoustic Jazz and genuine creativity. The interplay between the words and the music flows very naturally. There are musical and lyrical moments that remind me of the Great Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The poetry (mostly prose) is heavily laden with the experience of a heroin addict. It actually has the main ingredient for a sound track to a movie. Even though there have been many recordings about the abuse of drugs, the culture, the highs and the lows, i.e., Superfly, The Last Poets, Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Goin’ On’, I can’t recall an entire album in this case a CD solely devoted to the addict and his addiction.
This is by no means a commercial hit nor is it a typical CD of music and poetry. This is an extremely unique blend of words and feelings and sounds that recreate the entire world of a Junkie. While listening to this CD you can smell the Junk Funk, you can feel the cigarette burning down to your fingers, you can taste the stale death of a Junkie’s breath, you can see his gray days and the darker nights. This is an Opera, a Junkie Jazz Opera that should be presented in film, on stage as well as discussed and dissected in the class room and the living room.
When I first met Jeff, The Last Poets had just finished a gig at a college upstate. After the gig we went to this quaint little cafe to get something to eat. The Jeff Robinson Trio was playing there. They were positioned right in front as soon as you walk in the door. Our eyes met and we all acknowledged each other. We were escorted to our seats while the trio continued to play. After a while I imagined that I was hearing one of our Last Poet’s poems, Jones Comin’ Down, being recited on stage. I wasn’t imagining. It was Jones Comin’ Down being performed by the Jeff Robinson Trio. I was impressed, and somewhat amazed to realized how relevant that poem still is today. After the food and the set we spoke, exchanged numbers and knew we’d meet again. I loved his approach to the poem and his passion for the music. He and it were organic. I feel very honored to now have this opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings about this new work and some of his original compositions. I am certain that anyone who lends a patient ear to this CD will be enriched, informed and inspired. — Abiodun Oyewole, Member of “The Last Poets”