Dan Blake's orchestral approach to the jazz quartet is reminiscent of both early New Orleans combos and the quartets of Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and Ornette Coleman. His composing suggests the influences of Mingus and Herbie Nichols, whose Spinning Song is the album's only cover. A multi-reed player, Blake's most distinctive instrument is soprano sax, which he plays with the big vibrato and robust tone of early practitioners like Sidney Bechet, though in a thoroughly modern way. He's joined on the six parts of the title suite by saxophonist/bass clarinetist Alec Spiegelman, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer ...read more
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