239

Michael Blake Sextet: Amor de Cosmos

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Blake Sextet: Amor de Cosmos With each release, saxophonist Michael Blake pushes himself in a different direction through composition, instrumentation and/or stylistic approach. On Amor de Cosmos, the native Canadian convened an all-Canuck sextet to perform compositions inspired by family memories and the local history of British Columbia, where he spent time as a child. In a departure for Blake, the group includes younger musicians with whom he had little prior experience: Brad Turner (trumpet), Sal Ferreras (marimba and percussion), Chris Gestrin (keyboards and electronics), Andre Lachance (bass) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums).

The CD opens with the appropriately-titled "Ghostlines," an improvised tenor/keyboard duet with haunting ambience from Blake's fluttered, overblown textures and Gestrin's subtle, coloring. "Temporary Constellation" abounds with timbral contrasts, with piano and marimba introducing a buoyant line, countered by phased trumpet and saxophone. Lachance propels a brief piano solo before Blake restates the quirky line, with trumpet and marimba punctuating the counter movement. The form opens for the leader's run and van der Schyff's dexterous fills around the stops.

The subtle, amorphous theme of the title track emerges from textured atmospherics; its lumbering groove develops with thick bass prompting Blake's riffs and swirling drums enveloping Gestrin's electric piano. At almost 11 minutes, "So Long Seymour" episodically unfolds in distinct sections, opening with minimalist marimba. The pace quickens for a bouncy melodic movement, with the various instruments complementing its skewed line. The rhythm section breaks into a gallop, eliciting a sweeping soprano sax and trumpet unison, which also returns after a cascading marimba/piano duet. An energetic odd-time Afro-beat buttresses the contagious melody of "The Wash Away," inspiring a soaring solo from Turner and hand-percussion flurry from Ferreras.

The relative unfamiliarity between composer and musicians results in greater emphasis on the arrangements and compositions than on soloistic displays. Thematically personal, the tunes brim with catchy melodies, rhythmic complexity that still feels good and engaging forms that provoke exploration within their structure.


Track Listing: Ghostlines; Temporary Constellation; Amor de Cosmos; So Long Seymour; The Wash Away; Infirmary; The Hunt; Paddy Pie Face.

Personnel: Michael Blake: tenor and soprano saxophones; Brad Turner: trumpet; Sal Ferreras: marimba and percussion; Chris Gestrin: acoustic and electric piano, electronics; Andr

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Illuminations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!