Jimmy Robinson quietly drops new solo acoustic album of ‘Three’
Review first appeared in Examiner July 27, 2015.
In “Rush Hour,” Jimmy Robinson plays his guitar like a bass and drums, as if his life depended on finishing the process. He also leaves a lot of his tangy sentiment hanging in the air, to be continued. In most of the new instrumental compositions on Three, the New Orleans fusion guitarist plays as if he needs to unburden himself.
Yet, there is no need to prove himself. This new album sounds as if the veteran guitarist has found a peace and understanding in his indefinable music — a collapse of jazz and myriad fusions from the classical to the start of the Beatles century.
Even on the faster-paced tracks, he leaves plenty of room to do what he enjoys most — groove on that six-string. Unlike previous recordings, Vibrating Strings and Guitarworks, Robinson focuses mostly on his six-string and then, when it’s time to play, lets all those gigs with all those people flow naturally into the rhythm and schemes.
He doesn’t give undue thought to concepts and themes, preferring to let his guitar do all the talking. So, understandably, his original instrumental compositions on Three are his strongest suit. The vocals he gives a passing glance to — The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” the only cover here; “You Rescued Me,” “Done With You” — don’t quite measure up as much as the quixotic, blues-tumbling time traveler of the wordless “A.D.D.”
With the exception of “World Of Trouble.”
In that piece, Robinson hints at the contrasting conflicts he used to struggle over in the past, replete in his 2012 hit Guitarworks, where he’s venting his spleen everywhere. Otherwise, this is a new and gentler Robinson, truer to the soul of a mellow but deeply churning artist given to stunning displays that leave unsuspecting passers-by slack-jawed.
Maybe in the near-future, he can get back to more of the impassioned vocals that more than meet up with his possessed music. But then, this is a musician mostly at home in the frets and struts of a wordless, sticky lost world by the Bayou, tinted with the gold dust of blues and rock troubadours.