Larry Ochs & Don Robinson | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Larry Ochs & Don Robinson 

When: Thu., March 14, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $8
Bay Area reedist Larry Ochs cofounded legendary saxophone quartet ROVA in 1978, but he’s also made a name for himself outside that group, playing in all sorts of bands with a wide range of musicians. He’s been working with drummer Donald Robinson since the early 90s, when they played together in Glenn Spearman’s Double Trio, and Robinson has become a fixture in several long-term Ochs projects, including What We Live (a steady trio augmented by varying guests) and the Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core (which also includes Scott Amendola and, on the 2009 album Stone Shift, pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura). It’s almost strange that it took till last year for the two of them to develop a regular working duo. Robinson is neither flashy nor explosive, but his playing has heft and he covers lots of ground—he can maintain a feeling of order while playing meterless rhythms or transform the pulse of jagged postbop till it’s almost abstract. He’s a good match for Ochs, and over the decades the two of them have developed a fine-tuned rapport. Robinson alternately corrals the horn man’s fiery energy and enlivens his drier sounds, and on some unreleased tracks I’ve heard, he seems to inspire Ochs to play a kind of muscular funk I’d expect from Ken Vandermark. —Peter Margasak



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