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Leading a new band and defining its sound is already no small task. But making two LPs in that band’s first year is a mark of unbridled creative passion. Saturn Quartet had just released its first album, Synchronicities, to rave reviews in 2022, and bandleader Robin Sherman was already pushing ahead to get into the studio for a follow-up record. 


Though initially hesitant, his bandmates jumped on board after hearing Sherman map out his plans for an eclectic, boundary-defying LP that would push the group into uncharted terrain. Since the band was spread out across the Eastern seaboard, its best opportunity to keep refining its sound would come in the studio.

Honoring this impetus, Luz marks the turning of a page from Saturn Quartet’s debut. The sound still has the same warmth that made Synchronicities so inviting, but it also feels cleaner and more full-bodied. These traits unify an album that otherwise spans a wide range of genres and textures – even with the first listen, it’s abundantly clear that Saturn Quartet wasted no time following their collective voice wherever it might take them.


Luz opens with “Three of a Kind,” a deceptively simple, subdued tune by New Orleans-based trumpeter Emily Mikesell. It then jumps about, from the hushed beauty of “Wild Is The Wind” to the chaotic urgency of “Told You,” an original tune by bassist and bandleader Robin Sherman. This gives way to an even starker contrast, between a cover of Jerry Goldsmith’s “Hollow Man,” written for the eponymous horror film, and “Mr. Lucky,” a cheerful tune that Henry Mancini composed for the titular daytime TV show.


The rest of the album is rounded out by three ambitious compositions. The title track, “Luz,” playfully deconstructs the Brazilian pop classic song by Djavan. Then, pianist Brendan Polk’s “Ben” is a joyful, reflective mid-tempo swinger that pays tribute to legendary Savannah, GA bassist Ben Tucker, who mentored Polk in his high school days. The album is closed out by “Mitsuda,” Ricardo Pascal’s tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda, who composed soundtracks for the classic video game series, Chrono. A restrained, multi-layered eruption of sound, “Mitsuda,” like the rest of the album, rewards the patient listener.

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About The Band:

Saturn Quartet was formed in 2020 by bassist Robin Sherman after the sudden death of his father, world-renowned guitarist Jack Sherman. Amidst the isolation of the pandemic, the shock of this loss inspired Sherman to seize the moment by forming a band with his closest friends, even though the pianist, Brendan Polk, lived over 1,000 miles from the group's homebase in New Orleans. 


Their debut album, Synchronicities, was recorded to tape with minimal isolation and no overdubs, giving way to a warmth, grit, and intimacy that capture the sound of the room like an old Blue Note recording.


Since releasing Synchronicities in 2022, they have toured across the Southeast US, and their music has been broadcast on syndicated radio programs throughout the US and UK. More US performance dates are scheduled through April, and a European tour is in the works.



Ricardo Pascal has worked professionally as a saxophonist, composer, arranger,
and educator for 15 years.

As an artist heavily rooted in the jazz tradition, his musicianship has attracted collaborations with many great artists.

For over a decade, he has performed with The Modern Jazz Generation, led by Marcus Roberts in various settings, from performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center,
Carnegie Hall, and The Village Vanguard to an appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Ricardo has also been featured as a soloist and arranger with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra for 8 years in collaboration with musical director Adonis Rose.

His work has taken him all over the world with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cyrille Aimée, Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis, Leroy Jones, Jamison Ross, China Moses, Quiana Lynell, and more.

Ricardo has given classes, clinics, and lessons in universities all over North America. He earned his Master in Jazz
at the University of New Orleans and his undergraduate degree from Florida
State University.


Brendan Polk is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Polk started playing classical
piano at the age of four and became fascinated with the world of jazz at age
twelve when he first listened to the music of Erroll Garner. Shortly thereafter
he studied jazz performance at Florida State University under the tutelage of
masters such as Marcus Roberts, Bill Peterson, and Leon Anderson.

Since his start in music, he has performed or worked with many renowned musicians and artists, including Sonny Fortune, Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, Quentin Baxter, Delbert Felix, Ben Tucker, Neil Caine, Mark Morris, and Leon Anderson.

He has performed at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center, the Telluride Jazz Festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival, Smalls, and the Louis
Armstrong House.

Polk also regularly accompanies company class at Mark Morris
Dance Center and Gibney Dance.

robin sherman

Robin Sherman is a musician, composer/arranger, and occasional playwright based in New Orleans.

He has degrees in music from Florida State University (B.M.) and the University of New Orleans (M.M.).

Currently, he leads his own group
Saturn Quartet, whose music has been in regular rotation on jazz radio since
their debut release in Spring 2022.

Robin also plays bass and sings with
acclaimed Americana artist Lilli Lewis, does freelance arranging and generally
keeps busy in various creative pursuits.

Some other notable artists
that Robin has recorded and/or played with include: Iggy Pop, Jack Sherman,
Jason Marsalis, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Sarah Quintana, and many

gerald t. watkins

Gerald T. Watkins Jr is a drummer and percussionist originally from Norfolk, Va, and is now residing in New Orleans, LA. He has degrees in music from both Norfolk State University (B.S) and Florida State University (M.M).

He performs locally with many of the area's finest musicians and also tours abroad.

He has performed with members of the Marsalis family (Ellis, Delfeayo, and Jason), The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eric Benét, Ledisi, and many others.

Aside from performing, Gerald loves to teach and mentor many New
Orleans young creative minds.
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Photography by Camille Lenain
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