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by Dan Bilawsky
Spirit Forward carries several connotations in its name and sound. First there's the overt reference to bartender terminology and the way it connects to the music presented by the feisty and flexible foursome of bassist Michael Blanco, saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Kevin Hays, and drummer Clarence Penn. A spirit-forward cocktail is one which focuses on enhancing rather than masking the core characteristics of a base liquor through the addition of other spirits and suggestions. It's an intoxicating parallel for what ...read more
by Edward Blanco
A talented in-demand Broadway/jazz bassist, Michael Blanco's No Time Like The Present announces his second album as leader presenting a collection of refreshing new jazz originals offered by a dynamic quintet that features veteran saxophonist John Ellis and New York guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg among the cast. The two-time recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, designs a sparkling session of riveting modern-style jazz not to be missed. Though it's Blanco's compositional skills that carry the date on this ...read more