NEWS

Electric Project is controlled mayhem! It’s an album of seemingly opposite, yet complementary sounds in the guitar color-wheel.



Making the music:


Making of Electric Project:


I was looking to capture the live energy of this group that has always been a hallmark of our output. To keep the energy fluid, a lot of these tunes were not recorded to a click track. I feel that a lot of music recorded today can lack mojo due to over emphasis on aligning everything to the grid.


To use the right studio to find this mojo, Celso suggested we use engineer Michael Rosen (Grammy) at East Bay Recorders in Berkeley CA. Playing with my son, Jimmy on Bass, Celso on Drums, and Timo on Hand percussion with Michael on the console, allowed us to capture our live energy in a studio atmosphere.


While working on the Electric Project, several guitar voices emerged. The blues based sound comes from playing on the neck position with the Fender Strat. The rock guitar sound comes from playing the Ibanez with wider intervals and altered scales. The Latin rock guitar player sound comes from the Paul Reed Smith. The acoustic blues guitar sound is inspired by my brother Peter’s stinging vibrato, and comes from my Martin steel string, These guitar voices are a part of my musical identity. The trading solos throughout the tracks make for interesting colours, not only in tambor, but with the scales and melodies themselves that are intrinsic to each instrument.


I find each guitar is asking for a different approach.The tambor of each instrument leads to the inspiration of my music. I would have loved to have heard Allan Holdsworth play with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robben Ford with Hendrix, Al Di Meola with B.B King, and Pat Metheny with John McLaughlin to name a few.




The album features several of James favorite tunes, All Blues by Miles Davis, Life by the Drop by Stevie Ray Vaughn (sung by niece Carrie Nicole Robinson), and Stratus by Billy Cobham.


All Blues:

"The great Miles tune that is the great vehicle for so many approaches to play over I had to record it twice and would have gone for three… This take (track 8) is the representation of my alter ego looks on guitar as the blues lick motif player trades with the jazz rock altered scale player both me, each in harmony with the other, all disagreements are resolved amicably."


"In this take of All Blues (track 15) I wanted to show four different looks by using four very different guitars and the scales that best match their tambors: my Eastman jazz guitar, Kenny Hill nylon string, Paul Reed Smith, Fender Strat. Starting with the jazz guitar clean using a more traditional jazz approach, to my Nylon String using more Iberian peninsula inspired scales, Paul Reed Smith in a modern blues, and lastly the Strat to rock the last verse. Each guitar/style building upon the previous to bring it back around to the melody."

James Robinson


Life by the Drop:


" I have a personal connection to this moving song as it speaks to my upbringing coming from a large family wearing hand me downs and having the blues handed down to me from older brothers with “worn out shoes”, and “talking about good times and singing the blues”. Wishing anyone struggling with addiction living “Life by the Drop” to find solace in this great tune. It is such a great joy to have my super talented niece singing on this track bringing the love of family full circle"

James Robinson


Dave Lepori, photographer extraordinaire (photo by Suzi Humbert, shot during photoshoot in San Fransisco.


click the album for pre-save options

Looking forward to life returning and bringing Electric Project to you.

Cheers,

James Robinson

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We are thrilled to share the re-release of New Beginnings with Innervision Records with Azul Sky (Smooth Jazz Radio) bonus track! Please help us launch this album to the charts by pre-saving the album... here


Below is the story of New Beginnings. Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

Cheers,

James Robinson, Suzi Humbert, and James Robinson II


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New Beginnings began with a two day recording session at the 25th Street Recording Studio in Oakland CA May 4-5th 2016. Sound engineered by Peter Labberton. Celso Alberti on drum set, Willie Garza on hand percussion, and James Eric Robinson II (James Robinson Sr. son) on bass. Suzi Humbert also on hand for photography, videography, and food/coffee/cookie provider!


Over the next three years, James Robinson took the bass/drum/percussion tracks from the original session and crafted melodies and lines that became New Beginnings. James became inspired to write music on various instruments, including his debut recording of mandolin and bouzouki. James credits his family for instilling in him his deep love of all music styles. These influences are greatly noticeable in New Beginnings with the number of different stringed instruments and music styles blended into his guitar virtuosity.


January 2018: Photoshoot for album commenced with Dave Lepori shooting photography, and trying very hard to not get run over in the middle of the street! Thank you Dave! You ROCK!


Mixing & Mastering: Summer 2018

James was connected to Marc Daniel Nelson, the protégée of Ken Caillat, and Marc mixed and mastered New Beginnings.


The Show


Independent Release: Feb. 8th 2019 at the wonderful Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz CA.

We enjoyed a sold-out show with all of our dedicated fans and loved ones.


New Beginnings Liner Notes: I am super proud of this project and it brings me the greatest joy to share making music with my son, James Eric Robinson. Special thank you's to the musicians Celso Alberti, & Willie Garza for putting their hearts & souls into this project. James Robinson November 1st 2018 Musicians: James Eric Robinson- fretted & fretless bass. Celso Alberti-drum set. Willie Garza- hand percussion. James Robinson- Played & recorded all guitars; nylon, steel, electric, mandolin, bouzouki, assorted percussion. James uses Hill Guitar Co. classical nylon string guitars, Martin steel string acoustic, PRS & Fender Strat modified by Keith Holland Guitar Hospital in Los Gatos CA.


This album is dedicated to

my love Suzi, my hummingbird.


Thanks: To my sisters, Patty, Mary Ann, Katie, Jane & to my brothers Steven, Mark, Michael, Danny, David, Peter, Richard & Chris for keeping our home full of musical inspiration. Steven & Margaret Robinson for opening up their home and hearth to music, laughter, & love. Celso Alberti for your invaluable expertise & help with tracks. Don Durante, Brad Daley, Magdalena Reina & all the Cascal family in Mountain View CA. Somewhere in the Los Gatos Hills... Jon Motley & Tina Kwan, thanks for you friendship and patronage of the musical arts. Ted "Black Magic" Black and family. Peter Labberton- Sound Engineer 25th Street Recording Studio in Oakland CA. Daniel Yarritu guitarist extraordinaire. Marc Daniel Nelson for mixing and mastering & making this project epic! Dave Lepori incredible photography. Frank Pollifrone & family. Ken Caillat. Kenny Hill & Hill Guitar Co. Keith Holland Guitar Hospital To all my students, past & present, for always inspiring me to share in the joy of music.




Art photos © 2016-2021 Suzi Humbert

All Rights Reserved © 2016-2021 James Robinson


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