Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Rob Burger was the accordionist in the chamber jazz group Tin Hat Trio and has toured with Bill Frisell, Don Byron, and Joey Baron, and appeared on Frisell's Tales from the Far Side soundtrack. Burger studied classical piano at Juilliard and explored different improvisational styles at the University of Massachusetts with Max Roach, Archie Shepp, and Yusef Lateef. He broadened his range to include Hammond organ, vintage keyboards like the Optigan and Chamberlin, toy pianos, modern keyboards, and the accordion. Since moving to the Bay Area, Burger worked with artists as diverse as Tipsy and Mix Master Mike; he became a member of the Oranj Symphonette and the Mark Orton project Old Joe Clarks. In the late '90s, he co-founded Tin Hat Trio with Orton, who plays guitar, and violinist Carla Kihlstedt. The group's music is a unique blend of structure, improvisation, and contemporary classical, with folk, world, and jazz elements. Tin Hat Trio's recording debut, Memory Is an Elephant, came out in early 1992 on Angel Records, and Helium followed in spring 2000. Burger also appeared on the next two Tin Hat Trio albums, 2002's Rodeo Eroded and 2004's Book of Silk; he subsequently left the group, which expanded its lineup to a quintet and henceforth became known as simply Tin Hat. Burger has released a pair of solo albums on the Tzadik label, 2002's Lost Photograph and 2009's City of Strangers.