Since the 80's improvisational cellist Hank Roberts has been creating new sounds on the cello. His rhythmic, harmonic, and emotional approach to the cello distinguishes him as a unique voice on the instrument and in the world of new music and jazz. Hank Roberts creates an extensive body of music as a composer and recording artist, and also as one who collaborates with world class artists such as Bill Frisell, Hal Willner, Tim Berne, Andy Summers, Dave King and Ethan Iverson from “The Bad Plus”, Donna the Buffalo, Sim Redmond Band, Kevin Kinsella, Wingnut, and Ti Ti Chickapea.
In the 80's and early 90's Hank Roberts lives near New York City and is performing and recording with his own groups Black Pastels, Miniture, Arcado String Trio and with artists such as the Bill Frisell Band, Tim Berne, John Zorn, Stefan Winter's program music »The Little Trumpet«, Django Bates, Mark Feldman, Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser, Joey Baron, Marty Ehrlich, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Ribot, DK Dyson, and Jerome Harris. He has nine CD releases on the ‘Winter&Winter’ label, including several with The Arcado String Trio and Miniature.
In 2008 he presents on Winter & Winter the album »Green« featuring the French guitarist Marc Ducret and Jim Black on drums. Sydney Morning Herald: "Beautifully spacious improvisations congeal into folky songs, jazzy interludes, sunny, back-porch grooves or even atmospheric rock on this extraordinary CD."
In 2010 and 2011 Hank Roberts is happy to compose the music for the album »Everything Is Alive« for longtime friends. This music is recorded 'live-to-analog-two-track' without any overdubs and without any digital effects. The live creation of the music and the natural sound experience is the focus of this album. "When I thought about making this new record »Everything Is Alive«, I felt that I wanted to work with not only great musicians, but good friends. I met Bill Frisell and Jerome Harris back in 1975. Our friendships have prospered along with our musical friendship over the past 36 years. Kenny Wollesen and I don't have that same long-time history, but he is a friend, and is so perfect for this music; his amazing crisp time-feels and abundant colors are just what I wanted. Stefan Winter and I have worked together since 1987. I felt that this group of people would be perfect for the compositions I had been working on over the past years."
On »Everything Is Alive« Hank Roberts presents a wondrous journey into the living colors of North American's music world of our days. He plays with elements of folk, jazz, rock, rhythm 'n' blues, and improvisation. It is not easy to categorize his music but listeners who appreciate to step across the border will enjoy to hear for example elements of music from native American music as well as folk and country musicians. But Hank Roberts does not just quote this music styles, he uses essences and he mixes these elements to create his own sounds. Hank Roberts has his own identity even though his roots are widespread. The result is a colourful, open and warmhearted hotchpotch which is totally in keeping with the untamed creativity and sparkling energy of Hank Roberts. "The compositions on this recording embrace many of the musical energies that I love and have enjoyed playing over many years. Each piece has a very distinct and declarative personality written into it, and working with this particular group of fantastic musicians, one of the key elements was to create structures that would allow for the interplay, development and excitement that improvisation brings. Ultimately, we came up with something wonderfully fresh and alive to my ears, and beyond all expectations." »Crew Cut« opens the album with pulsing rhythms followed by the wonderful ballad »Cayuga". Also »Easy's Pocket«, the third track is a very personal composition by Hank Roberts.
The quartet with Bill Frisell on guitar, Jerome Harris on bass guitar, Kenny Wollesen on drums and percussion and Hank Roberts on vocals and cello has in an excellent musical understanding.
“When I first heard Hank Roberts' music many years ago, he had already found his own way of playing, his own voice. Since then, that voice has been getting stronger, clearer, more powerful, more beautiful, more soulful. (...) It's so rare to hear music this pure and it's so inspiring to know someone with the strength and courage to stay so true.” — Bill Frisell
The young Japanese painter Yuko Takatsudo creates new oil paintings on canvas for Hank Roberts' album »Everything Is Alive«. In 2011 Winter&Winter has presented her works in the show- and listening-room in Munich. Supremely inventive, exciting, and provocative like Hank Roberts' music.
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