Original Work

BoB: a Palindrome

Review by 

Robert "Bob" Hurst's 2013 album Bob: A Palindrome follows up the bassist's 2010 studio album Bob Ya Head. Recorded in 2001, the album's release was delayed by 9/11, as well as Hurst's own busy career as a highly sought-after sideman and professor of music at the University of Michigan. Joining Hurst here are such longtime associates as saxophonist Branford Marsalis, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, flutist and bass clarinetist Bennie Maupin, pianist Robert Glasper, and percussionist Adam Rudolph. With all the songs composed and arranged by Hurst, including the epic mid-album Duke Ellington-style three-part "Middle Passage Suite," Bob: A Palindrome is a superb showcase for Hurst's improvisational skill, songwriting ability, and talent for assembling an all-star band. This is urbane, highly creative, and straight-ahead modern jazz at its finest.

  • 3 for Lawrence - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Picked from Nick - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Big Queen - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Middle Passage Suite: Part I - For Those of Us Who Made It - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Middle Passage Suite: Part II - For Those of Us Who Didn't Make It -BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Middle Passage Suite: Part II - For Those of Us Still Here - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Little Queen - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Indiscreet in da Street - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst
  • Jamming - aka Ichabad - BoB: a Palindrome, Robert Hurst

Robert Hurst: Bob Ya Head (2011)

Robert Hurst: Bob Ya Head (2011) Allaboutjazz.com
MARK F. TURNER, Published: February 16, 2011 

With a spirit of optimism and new direction, veteran bassist Robert Hurst returns with two simultaneous releases on his Bebob recording label, that further expound on his leadership. The first,Unrehurst Vol. 2 , is an all-acoustic date with drummer Chris Dave and firebrand pianist Robert Glasper, recorded live in 2007 at the Smoke in New York City. 

An educator, composer and bandleader, Hurst's accolades also include directing, arranging and composing for The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno; Emmy- and Grammy-winning works in film soundtracks such as Ocean's Eleven, and recordings with Charles Lloyd, Sting, and Diana Krall. With Bob Ya Head , Hurst has a few new tricks up his sleeves, shifting directions and pleasantly surprising via some eclectic and electronic artistry. While Unrehurst is a riveting unrehearsed swing-fest, Bob Ya Head is studio-intensive, equally persuasive, and even more engaging. 
The release balances technical wizardry with Afro-centric and urban themes. Hurst's commanding upright resonates in "Obama Victory Dance," directing its energy to the lively "Optimism"'s hint of things to come—a joyful chorus of childrens' voices, electronic keyboards, and Hurst switching to pizzicato bass. The sampled speech by Civil Rights leader Malcolm X is effective in the improvised groove of "X Static" and the intermingled (processed and real) voices in the hip-hopped vibe of "Da, Da, Da, Dah." In each track, the music is an outlet for musicians and technology to creatively coexist. 
As strong as Hurst is, this is by no means a singular effort, as Darryl "Munyungo" Jackson's percussion creates an infectious tempo in "Munyungo In Da Jungle." Saxophonist Vincent Bowens and veteran progressive keyboardist Scott Kinsey trade fiercely in the India-vocal percussive "Oral Roberto," and Bowens, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and drummerKarriem Riggins ignite "Alice and John," a hypnotic track dedicated to Alice Coltrane andJohn Coltrane, donned with screeching horns and a bass loop of octaves and bowed strings.
Like Miles Davis's illustrious and at times criticized career, and other forward-thinking artists, Robert Hurst continue to affirm that jazz is not static; but a moving, living and evolving entity of self expression which can provide food for thought and the ability to dance in this appropriately titled release.
  • Obama Victory Dance - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Optimism - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • X Static - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Comes You Comes Love (Intro) - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Comes You Comes Love - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Forty Four - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Da, Da, Da, Dah - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Munyungo In Da Jungle (Intro) - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Munyungo In Da Jungle - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Oral Roberto - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Alice and John - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • Unintellectual Property - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst
  • When Drums Stop - Bob Ya Head, Robert Hurst

by S. Victor Aaron (Somethingelsereview.com)
Robert Hurst is a guy I remember being Wynton Marsalis’ bassist in the late 1980s, before performing in the same capacity for Branford’s Tonight Show band. From there, I don’t recall much. But that’s on me because in reality, Hurst has kept very busy: he’s served as a sideman for everyone from Lou Rawls to Keb’ Mo’ to a steady association with Diana Krall. He’s also scored movies and served as an Associate Professor of Music at University of Michigan.
All of this work has been done at the expense of making many records under his own name but he did a lot of catching up earlier this week with the release of not one but two albums, his first in about ten years. Bob Your Head, a wild mixture of jazz, hip-hop, African and other music forms is one of those, but the focus here is on the other: an acoustic, live straight jazz trio performance called Unrehurst Volume 2. Volume 1 came out in 2001 and featured the young, budding pianist from Houston Robert Glasper, as well as Damion Reid on drums. The second volume again has Glasper on piano, but Chris Dave on drums.
Recorded back in ’07, Glasper had since launched his solo career and created a sensation in the jazz world. His full-bodied approach the piano is perfect for this muscular setting, but he is also a nuanced enough player to make his single note lines hold depth (as in his nice solo on Cole Porter’s extensively reworked “I Love You”). He also contributes a solidly swinging in 3/4, “Truth Revealed,” where the rapport between him and Dave is fantastic. Hurst is very responsive bassist, providing a fat, pulsing bottom that never gets in the way, but rounds out the sound just right. Hurst’s two songs don’t quite measure up to Glasper’s, but are nonetheless effective vehicles for the players to stretch out and create. After all, the title has “Unrehurst” in it and it does because the players didn’t get a chance to prepare for the gig. They had to play even more on their feet and through five extended tracks some strong telepathy pulled them through the session with flying colors. Unrehurst Volume 2 has fantastic playing, some pretty good songs overall and a consistently high energy level. There’s not much more you can ask for from a live, straight-ahead jazz record.Truth Revealed w/Intro - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst
  • Bob's 5/4 Tune - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst
  • Bob's Blues - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst
  • BuWaynea - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst
  • Unrehurst - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst
  • Dr. Bluess - Unrehurst, Volume 2, Robert Hurst

  • Beddy-Bye Wishes - Family Album, Vol. 1, Robert Hurst
  • Childish Things - Family Album, Vol. 1, Robert Hurst
  • Child Abuse - Family Album, Vol. 1, Robert Hurst
  • Judy's Jig - Family Album, Vol. 1, Robert Hurst
  • Brown Sugar - Original Music Score, Fox Searchlight Films, Robert Hurst
  • The Blue Lobster - Original Music Score, Dogma 2000, Robert Hurst
  • The Wood - Original Music Score, Paramount Pictures and MTV Films Production, Robert Hurst
  • Git in There - OTB, OTB (Out of the Blue)
  • R H Factor - OTB, OTB (Out of the Blue)
  • The Dark Knight - Crazy People Music, Branford Marsalis
  • The Dark Knight - The Steep Anthology, Branford Marsalis
  • Our Gang - The Nurturer, Geri Allen
  • Roused About - Scene One, Vincent Herring
  • Roused About - The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Branford Marsalis
  • Beats Remark - The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Branford Marsalis
  • Brother Try'n to Catch a Cab on the East Side Blues - 'I Heard You Twice the First Time, Branford Marsalis
  • Simi Valley Blues - I Heard You Twice the First Time, Brandford Marsalis


Showcases Robert Hurst as a leader, accomplished composer and bassist extraordinaire. The mix of the bass is up front, yet Hurst is always a team player conversing magnificently amongst solos by Kenny Kirkland, Branford Marsalis, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Marcus Belgrave and Ralph Jones. Hurst presents quite an ambitious debut as he has written all of the compositions and arrangements except for Monk's "evidence" for this profoundly introspective and intense disc.



✓ Gold Disk Recognition from Swing Journal, issue 5/93

 ✓ Four Stars rating in Downbeat, issue 10/93

 ✓  Double A rating in Bass Player Magazine, May/June 1993 Issue.

 ✓  "The Walk of the Negress' composition began being published in the 1993/1994 Edition of the Fake Book.

✓  "Bert's Flirt", Joyce Faye", and "Jill of All Trades" have been featured on Jazz Impressions, host Ken Borgers of United Artists Entertainment Network programming.

 ✓  CD reached number Five on the Billboard and R&R Charts through September 1993

 ✓  CD was nominated for Best Jazz Album category, Eighth Annual Soul Train Music Awards, 1994.


  • Blue Freeze - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Aycrigg - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Joyce Faye - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Detroit Red - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Detroit Red - 20th Century Fox Films, In Living Color TV Series
  • The Snake Charmer - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Incessant Lullaby - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Incessant Lullaby ... Bye - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Bert's Flirt - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Devil's Night in Motown - Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Walk of the Negress- Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst, Robert Hurst
  • Walk of the Negress- New Real Books, Vol. 1-2, Sher Music Publications

ROBERT HURST: ONE FOR NAMESAKE, DIW/Columbia 1994 release.

For his second album as a leader, Robert L. Hurst III within a challenging trio context, distinguishes himself as a composer and jazz bassist making a notable impact through his musical vision. Hurst along with the dynamic Kenny Kirkland and irrespressible veteran drummer Elvin Jones stretch out on this straight-forward, all acoustic release with a pleasing mixture of bop, blues, and ballads dedicated to the memory of Hurst's father, Robert L. Hurst, Jr. In the case of bassist and bandleader Robert Hurst, his selection of the traditional jazz trio as a venue for straight ahead jazz demonstrates Hurst's grasp of history and his respect for tradition. Ten of the eleven tunes are Hurst originals: each is impressive and eminently musical. The title tune is a richly melodic tear-jeaker, a gorgeous, heartfelt thing you'll play over and over again.


  • IncogNegro - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Chillin' At the Sloat - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Thad's Blue Plaid - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Jill of all Trades - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Swing'n on Swole - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • The Onlyest - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • One for Namesake - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Inuendo In Yo Window - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • C-Ya - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Jill's Groove - One for Namesake, Robert Hurst
  • Journey of Now - Jazz in the Spirit, Terri Lynne Carrington