Robbie Rox & The Monster Horn Band
"Earl Owns The World"
By Giovanni Carta
(Transtlated from the original Italian article)
A lot of you are probably asking yourselves, who the devil is Robbie Rox? To tell you the truth, until a few months ago I was totally unaware of the existence of this Canadian artist and thanks to the Iridescent Music People, who are directly involved in the distribution of Robbie's records, I came to discover this unique artist/singer.
Robbie Rox (alias Robert Theodore) has been around since the early 70's, and his first recording goes back to 1971 with a professional demo called 'Thunder Sound' and recorded Construction Site' as his first official LP published in 1978. Through the years and after a good number of albums, Robbie Rox in his musical forays used names for some of his bands that were comical and improbable, for example; 'The Catso, Porco Rozzo Band' and another band called 'Cazzotto'.
These bands built up a fairly large following in the country, especially in the Toronto area. It is difficult to imagine the contrary, considering the irresistable blend of unrestrained humor and intelligence done with the most bizarre, multicolored music styling. A good proof of the dramatic and irreverent talent is found on his last recording of 2003 called 'Earl Owns the World', a curious and amusing collection of anecdotes and tales with large doses of irreverent wisdom set to music almost in the manner of Frank Zappa.
The success of this cd is a result of Robbie's excellent vocal ability and a support group of musicians that includes players like drummer Vito Rezza,( who drummed for Pat Labarbara, Brian Auger, Gino Vanelli) and the keyboard player, Mike Fonfara( who in the sixties and seventies played for (Electric Flag, and Lou Reed) .
The final result of Earl Owns the World is that it is very tight and homogeneous. One can say that the eight selections of the cd can be summarized as being an amusing, ironic reading of all the possible stereotypes of jazz through the sensitivity, humor, bitterness, satirical joking, and a good dose of irreverence from Robbie.
The melodious part is owed to a powerful wind section and in general to the talent and preparation of all the musicians taking part on this cd. Even if this new cd 'Earl Owns the World' might not be the masterpiece of 2003 or the best titled work by Robbie in his artistic life , it still is worth the effort to listen to it and take it into consideration especially for those who have a certain interest in less conventional and non conformist music.
Robbie Rox & The Monster Horn Band - "Earl Owns The World" (Robbie
Rox Records 2003)
© 2004 Giovanni Carta - per gentile concessione dell'autore