Saxophonist Tom Robinson releases reggae single with Austin-based record label, Music For Life: AFROTHERIA.
As musicians, we are always open and looking for ideas for new songs. An inspirational thought or hook can pop into our head when we least expect it. In August of 2019, DJ RJ was at the grocery store in Austin picking up a few items and heard a simple bassline in his head. He quickly sung it into the voice-memo app on his phone to get back to later. RJ developed the idea into a “Riddim” (rhythm track) and invited Tom to collaborate with him on the track as an instrumental. We created lead voicelines, and a melody for the chorus, using Tom’s arsenal of saxophones (alto, baritone, soprano and tenor). After listening to the initial recording, Tom said: “the track sounds like elephants parading across the landscape.”
Afrotheria (from Latin Afro- “of Africa” + theria “wild beast”) is a clade of mammals, the living members of which belong to groups that are either currently living in Africa or of African origin: golden moles, elephant shrews (also known as sengis), tenrecs, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephants, sea cows, and several extinct clades.
Tom and his girlfriend recently adopted a baby elephant and rhino through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust located in Nairobi, Kenya and Tom will donate part of the CD sales to them.
We are hopeful that this song will help raise awareness to the state of African wildlife and help efforts to protect their habitat and their continuing existence.
ABOUT TOM ROBINSON:
Tom Robinson, Texas native saxophonist, began playing trumpet at age 10 in the San Francisco Bay area. Upon returning to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1970, at age 15, he discovered the saxophone. The move to Austin in 1981, at age 26, opened many musical doors to perform, record and travel. Today residing in Austin, the release of the single, Afrotheria marks his first solo effort.
Check out Tom above in the 80s with one of Austin’s early reggae bands, Pressure (2nd from left). Pressure will be performing on Saturday, April 9th at a benefit for the Sims Foundation called “I Still Miss Liberty Lunch.” Photo by Cooke Photographics.
RJ Johnson adds:
Tom and I started playing music together in 1989 in Root 1. We have shared many adventures together on the road doing gigs and recording. I’ve heard him blow many solos on saxophone over the years. This is our first collaboration together with him and I’m so pleased to present his first reggae single.
I’m a huge fan of instrumental music and I’m very excited to bring this one out to the people especially for all of the awareness that it will raise for this group of mammals. I believe it’s our responsibility to honor and protect Creation including our non-human brothers and sisters.
ABOUT MUSIC FOR LIFE:
Music For Life is run by producer and Austin radio DJ, @DJRJ. His bi-weekly radio program, Reggae Evolution, has been on the air on KAZI 88.7 FM since 1989 and he has been performing in Austin’s reggae scene since 1987 with many different bands. RJ’s passion is building riddims and helping people get their projects done.
Tom Robinson: alto, baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones
R.J. Johnson: keyboards and drum programming, recording engineer Gordon Mulrain: bass guitar
Marc Schaefgen: electric guitar
James Fenner: Percussion
Ras G.: Percussion
Fumi Sugawara: Graphic Design
Chris Fischer: Mastering
Steven Stanley: final mix, backing vocal
Distribution by Zojak Worldwide
1 – Afrotheria
2 – Afrotheria (Sax Dub)
3 – Afrotheria (Dub)