N. Scott Robinson
& Malcolm Dalglish, Lotus Festival, IN, 1999
"Highlights include "Abundance," a gentle blend of flowing notes from N. Scott Robinson's sanza and long sustained notes from Dawn Avery's cello." Alchemy: Music for Meditation CD review, Native Peoples Magazine (November/December 2013), 61.
"Lost In The Beauty Of It All unequivocally
illustrates the exceptional musical artistry of Mark Holland
and world percussionist N. Scott Robinson, as both soloists
and collaborative artists. N. Scott Robinson is simply one
of the finest world percussionists in the business."
Lost In The Beauty Of It All CD review by Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl, Overtones
1 (May 2013): 40.
"Wind & Fire explores the special chemistry
that can exist between wooden flute and assorted melodic
percussion, as superbly played by N. Scott Robinson."
Wind & Fire CD review by Bill Binkelman, New Age Retailer 23,
no. 5 (Fall 2009), 90.
"Listeners will find this the kind of music to which
they are, in fact, likely to wish to return to again and
again." Things That Happen Fast CD review
by Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal International 56,
no. 12 (December 2003): 40.
"Striking percussion work by Kenny Washington and
N. Scott Robinson . . ." Liner notes by Dan Morgenstern
from Grammy Award-winning CD Harlem Renaissance
by Benny Carter, 1992.
"There is an often-quoted Navajo phrase that I think fits the music of the duo Wind & Fire: 'Walk in Beauty.' The duo is comprised of the accomplished world percussionist N. Scott Robinson and Native American/world flute specialist Mark Holland. The two CDs feature an astonishing number of exotic world percussion instruments and world flutes (mostly of the Native American variety) all beautifully recorded in crystal clear sound. Each track listing on both CDs detail the instruments used. Original compositions throughout are built around simple melodies and/or improvisatory rhythmic structures. The earlier CD from 2009, self-titled Wind & Fire, is a good example of their brand of world fusion. One of the instruments featured on "A Most Beautiful Place" is the Milltone steel tongue drum, paired beautifully with a low Redwood Native American flute. This combination, along with some Tuvan overtone singing by Robinson, is mesmerizing. Lost In The Beauty Of It All (2013) breathes with a slightly more mature and refined worldliness. A highlight for me is the soaring and joyous "In Remembrance (Honoring Our Fathers)," which features Robinson on the mbira dza vadzimu and Holland on a Bamboo bansuri flute. I’ll be whistling that tune for a while. This CD also contains the most whimsical of all their collaborations, "The Traveler Encounters Bigfoot," in which a variety of atmospheric birdcalls give way to, what I can only describe as, a mysterious toe-tapping finale. There is depth in the musicianship of both players. Robinson's skill on a vast array of instruments is remarkable and because of Holland’s dexterity and musicianship, he has become known as 'the Jimi Hendrix of the Native American flute.' My feeling about this music is that its roots go deeper than something as superficial as a label. It hints at something much older, something ancient: sounds, instruments, rhythms, and melodies that transcend their original cultures and are brought together here in a celebration of beauty." Wind & Fire and Lost In The Beauty Of It All CD reviews by John Lane, Percussive Notes 52, no. 2 (March 2014): 68.
"One of the issues that I think is essential for succesful
music practice is to involve the mind in everything you
do. Percussionists often spend a great deal of time doing
'physical practice,' such as running scales on mallet instruments,
snare drum rudiments, or drumset time-keeping, without really
thinking deeply about everything they are playing. I noticed
improvement in my focus and concentration after having practiced
things that required a great deal of thought to execute."
From "Insights on Practicing World Percussion,"
interview excerpt by B. Michael Williams, Percussive
Notes 41, no. 2 (April 2003): 44-46, 48.
"The compositions are strong, and Robinson should
be commended for the unique timbres he blended in each one.
World View is a breath of fresh air." World View CD review
by Lisa Rogers, Percussive Notes 41. No. 6 (December
"N. Scott Robinson has composed a
driving five-minute work for two intermediate players of
the Arab tambourine." Review of Mirage score
by Terry O'Mahoney, Percussive Notes 41, no. 6
(December 2003): 57-58.
"This piece affords an excellent opportunity
to appreciate one of the lessons learned in the study of
hand drumming—that a single, simple frame drum played
with the fingers can be the source of an amazingly varied
palette of sounds, as well as a musically satisfying and
captivating performance." Review of Handful
score by John R. Raush, Percussive Notes 41, no.
6 (December 2003): 58.
"The interplay between the two players
creates an interesting rhythmic feel as well as tonal colors
with the use of hand slaps, jingle taps, and contrasting
head effects. For those wishing to include world music on
an ensemble or recital, this piece is ideal." Review
of Bear Talk score by George Frock, Percussive
Notes 41, no. 6 (December 2003): 58.
"Shaken, Not Stirred will
definitely excite an audience!" Review of Shaken,
Not Stirred score by Lisa Rogers, Percussive Notes
41, no. 6 (December 2003): 58.
"This fast moving and challenging
solo would be an excellent encore to a percussion recital
or a feature solo on a world music program." Review
of Il Mano score by John H. Beck, Percussive
Notes 41, no. 6 (December 2003): 58.
"As far as the original selections that feature his
hand drumming artistry are concerned, Robinson can indeed
claim to have found 'his own sound.'"
Things That Happen Fast CD review by John Rausch,
Percussive Notes 40, no. 4 (August 2002): 78.
"Robinson speaks clearly and knowledgeably, and he demonstrates
ideas in a manner that can be easily understood." Video
review of Hand Drumming by John Beck, Percussive
Notes 35, no. 6 (December 1997): 70.
"And for those who can appreciate the most precise
and clean technique of N. Scott Robinson, listen to his
solo pieces on Things That Happen Fast . . . Robinson
is a musician we hope to see in our country soon."
Things That Happen Fast CD review by Peppe Consolmagno, Percussioni 13
[Italy], no. 133 (October 2002), 9.
"That he has mastered his instruments and has studied
the masters well is evident in every tone." Things
That Happen Fast CD review by Heinz Kronberger, Drums
& Percussion 3 [Germany], (May/June 2002), 97.
"It's an excellent album. This makes
World View a gem of world progressive music. The
disc recalls echoes of Oregon, Trilok Gurtu, Aktuala, and
Ancient Future." World View CD review by Donato Zoppo, Movimenti
Prog [Italy] (March 2005).
"Wind & Fire is fresh and alive, with
pure melodic explorations and the most comprehensive, skilled
world percussion playing that I have heard to date. Mark
Holland’s and N. Scott Robinson’s Wind &
Fire is a compelling, masterful musical achievement."
Wind & Fire CD review by Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl, Voice of the
Wind 7, no. 2 (2009): 24-25.
"The world percussion of N. Scott Robinson is quite
skilled, as usual. A gifted world percussionist, N. Scott
uses an array of percussion instruments from all over the
world, which provides musical and atmospheric interest throughout
the CD. Scott's use of rhythmic interplay with melodies
and countermelodies is enthralling. Being quite creative
and expansive with his instrument choices, he provides a
unique rhythmic character, which truely enhances each song."
CD review of Progressive World by Dr. Kathleen
Joyce-Grendahl, Voice of the Wind 4 (2002): 27.
"Flutist Mark Holland and world percussionist N.
Scott Robinson dazzled the Eliot Chapel audience for 90
minutes with musical magic. The two musicians were in a
zone feeding off of each other's creativity and skill, providing
the audience with intriguing musical journeys spanning the
globe." Wind & Fire concert review by Mya Duran, Voice of the
Wind 2 (2002).
"N. Scott Robinson is a musical conjurer; the audience
loved it!" Concert review of N. Scott Robinson with R. Carlos Nakai and Gary Stroutsos by Audrey Burk, Voice
of the Wind 1, no. 1 (2002): 21.
"Organic, atmospheric grooves take
center stage on world music artist N. Scott Robinson's second
CD as leader. Robinson is a talented percussionist who's
worked with the likes of Benny Carter, Glen Velez, Annea
Lockwood, and John Cage. He brings all of this experience
to bear on Things That Happen Fast. Most of Robinson's
compositions grow out of the rhythms he creates on various
exotic hand drums. Often, these instruments imply a harmonic
center from which a melody is derived. Trumpeter Joe Kaminski
adds a jazz flair to many tracks utilizing a pocket trumpet
and kudu horn." Things That Happen Fast online CD review by Matt Collar, All Music Guide (2002)
"On Wind & Fire, the talented flutist
Mark Holland is paired with tuned, melodic percussionist
N. Scott Robinson, and their marriage is made in musical
heaven. Wind & Fire is equal parts passion
and subtlety." CD review, Inspired Retailer
"An interesting treatment of a unique musical avenue."
Video review of Hand Drumming by Victor Rendón,
Modern Drummer 21, no. 8 (August 1997), 130.
"N. Scott Robinson is a drummer/percussionist who has
taken a different path than most of his peers. Although
he has studied with such drumset artists as Peter Erskine
and Keith Copeland and performed with jazz great Benny Carter,
Scott has put his emphasis on percussion that draws from
music of other cultures. His effort is based on intensive
studies with great hand drummers like Glen Velez and Naná
Vasconcelos, and with orchestral percussionist William Moersch."
Excerpt from article "On The Move: N. Scott Robinson,"
Modern Drummer 20, no. 2 (February 1996), 126.
"Annea Lockwood’s Thousand Year Dreaming
opened with an arresting effect I’d never heard before:
Art Baron and N. Scott Robinson, blowing through conch shells,
played a series of converging glissandi in opposite directions,
creating wild beat patterns as their pitches neared each
other. In between solos and rubbed gongs, I got what I listen
to music for: chills up my spine." Concert review
of N. Scott Robinson & Art Baron with Annea Lockwood Ensemble by Kyle Gann, The Village Voice (2 January 1991),
"Elodie Lauten streamlined her style, playing mellow
jazz patterns of early Terry Riley with percussion by N.
Scott Robinson including a nice steel drum solo."
Concert review of N. Scott Robinson with Elodie Lauten by Kyle Gann, The Village Voice
(15 May 1991), 86.
"When Glen Velez's trio shifted to a frame
drum quartet with N. Scott Robinson, I figured it was a
throw away piece to give Steve Gorn a rest. Instead, it
was the evening's climax: hot cross-rhythms, shifting meters,
and somehow a catchy melody, with just four goddamn drums!"
Concert review of N. Scott Robinson with Glen Velez by Kyle Gann, The Village Voice
(24 October 1989), 88.
"World View is a truly exotic blend of instrumentation
providing many subtle timbres and tones. The world music
concept is befitting of N. Scott Robinson's extensive experience
in teaching, workshops, studying, and performing over the
years. This recording has a lively edge to it and is certainly
not a sleeper!" World View CD review by P.R. Brimstone, World
Rhythm 3, no. 1 (September-October 2004), 13.
elegant, spirited, inventive, fresh music. The rich variety
of their creativity was strongly present. "Shaken,
Not Stirred" by N. Scott Robinson was a 4-minute solo
on the riq (Arab tambourine). Four arresting sounds
from one tambourine all at once! Sheer acoustical fun. The
innovation of this group deserves wider recognition."
Concert review of N. Scott Robinson with Oxymora by Bob Sherwood, Clarke Times-Courier
[VA] (29 June 2006).
"They stopped just
short of dancing in the aisles as Malcolm Dalglish and N.
Scott Robinson brought their rhythm and sound to Westover
School. The soft sound of Dalglish's hammer dulcimer echoed
through the room and Robinson created a backdrop of sound
effects with tambourines, wooden bowls, and an assortment
of world percussion." Concert review of N. Scott Robinson with Malcolm Dalglish, Republican-American
[CT] (March 2001).
provides a broad sweep of musical forms: ballads, mouth
music, lullabies, laments, old hymns, and dance songs. Dalglish's
hammer dulcimer accompaniment heard throughout the recording
is perfectly complimented by the delicate polyrhythmic textures
of Glen Velez and N. Scott Robinson's frame drums, shakers,
udus, and mbira." Online CD review of Pleasure by Ben Kettlewell, Alternate Music Press: The Multimedia
Journal of New Music (1998).
"In the last movement
of Thousand Year Dreaming, a deluge of flurrying
frame drums are added, which a quartet of didjeridu
overcomes played by such artists as Jon Gibson, N. Scott
Robinson, Art Baron, and Libby Van Cleve. It is a lengthy
four-movement work full of vibrancy and subtlety, certainly
awakening and releasing the power of sonic energy." Thousand Year Dreaming CD review, Experimental Musical Instruments 9 (June 1994).
"The USA has always
been a creative place at least musically speaking—with
people coming from all over the world to our urban areas,
the cities here act as zones of cultural interaction so
ideas get exchanged pretty freely. People who have a deep
tradition tend to hold on to it while those that do not
often end up creating their own. I think that’s what
started happening in the US in places like New York in the
late-1960s-1970s as far as the work of percussionists such
as Airto Moreira, Dom um Romão, Collin Walcott, John
Bergamo, Naná Vasconcelos, Glen Velez, Zakir Hussain,
and over in Europe with artists such as Trilok Gurtu and
Okay Temiz to mention just a few." Two-part N. Scott Robinson interview
excerpt by Scott Davidson, World Percussion & Rhythm
11, no. 2 (Fall 2010), 8-9, 17 & World Percussion
& Rhythm 12, no. 1 (Spring 2011), 14-15.
"For me, the tambourines
and frame drums offer such a rich assortment of timbres
on a small, soft instrument on which I use my fingers as
opposed to a large assortment of loud instruments struck
with sticks. It fit my quiet personality more so than the
drumset did so those kinds of instruments became my focus.
The other thing that was going on was my mixing rhythmic
and technical ideas on all of these instruments and drumset
and jazz were big components in what I was developing on
tambourines and the other ethnic percussion." N. Scott Robinson interview
excerpt by Mark Holdaway, Kalimba Magic News 2,
no. 2 (1 March 2007).
Art, and World Music
"I am really attracted
to the fusion of ideas and instruments from different kinds
of music and culture. I grew up at a time when this was
quite common in the USA so the view that one has so much
to choose from is the way I approach music. The problem
is finding the proper context to continue this kind of music-making.
The music business is really saturating people with the
same kinds of music to the point that very meaningful kinds
of music have been very under-exposed for a long time now.
I think people will respond to something new when they find
out that there is so much more to choose from than what
you find in a store, magazine, TV, or on the radio."
N. Scott Robinson interview excerpt by Iasen Kazandjiev, Ethno, Art, and
World Music [Bulgaria] (1 November 2002).